For her new video, Primal Speech, Liz Magic Laser assembled a therapy group composed of actor participants with opposing political convictions about Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Manipulation and catharsis merge into a vision of political discourse as palliative care.
Primal Speech takes place in Liz Magic Laser’s futuristic version of a primal scream room with uniformly grey padded walls and therapeutic props such as punching pillows. For the film, Laser collaborated with Certified Professional Life Coach, Valerie Bell, trained in Primal Therapy techniques, a radical 1970s approach that used abreaction: the cathartic re- experiencing of a traumatic event. In this method the therapist coaches the patients to reenact scenes from their past and express repressed feelings. The aim of bringing what had been buried in the unconscious into consciousness was to liberate patients from the neurotic repetition of unhealthy behaviors and relationships. Reliving past trauma was thought to be the only route to relinquishing victimhood and transforming oneself. In this film actress, Gisela Chípe, delivers therapeutic questions, directly addressing the viewer as patient. Behind the scenes Laser and Bell apply the techniques of Primal Therapy to treat a group of actors, encouraging them to revisit and conflate their formative experiences with their current political frustrations.
With therapeutic activities conducted in collaboration with Certified Professional Life Coach Valerie Bell. Actors: Armeliane Bindickou, Gisela Chípe, Adam Davenport, Mari Hayes, Adele Jacques, Rhiannon Lattimer and Tom Staggs. Director of Photography: Chris Heinrich. Assistant Director: Hanna Lea Novak. Assistant Camera: Sam Krebs. Audio Engineer: Joe Quartararo. Audio Assistant: Trevor Hoar. Casting Assistant: Rachel Zaretsky. Editors: Liz Magic Laser and Ben Bernstein. Therapist’s script written in collaboration with Valerie Bell with contributions from Gisela Chípe. Special thanks to Sanya Kantarovsky, Ken Laser, Ben Lerner, Wendy Osserman, Thomas Cowley Williams, and Executive Coach Jeremy Robinson.