about the author

Paul Tarragó is a filmmaker, living in London. His work? A mix of underground experimentation and metafiction, tugging at the leash of film language but with narrative often held close at hand. This has shown widely on film festival and gallery circuits, and has consisted of experimental narratives, video installation, a collaborative feature film, cinematic sketchbooks, and moving image + live soundtrack performance works. In recent years more and more time has been spent on words, besides scripts and performance texts. The most up to date manifestations appear in 2HB #10, So Much for Free School, Etc. (Five Years), and a collection of his work—The Mascot Moth and several other pieces—which was published in 2013. More details can be found on the Video Data Bank Web site and his own site. He currently works as a lecturer at University of the Arts London.

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Paul Tarragó

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Tumbling, but attired in solitary squeezer corrective spring alignment webbing, so, as he hits the ground, his body pings rod-straight. And across the street, as he’s picking himself up, you too are keeling over like a skittle, landing like a dropped stick. Now he stands, pings erect, steadies his balance, then carries on. And then you are carrying on. We all carry on.

You are: inshape, swaddle-wrapped, a crush-convert. Tight. From toe and finger tip, flowing through full-body to the neck line, you are bound by a micro-weave elasticated sheath that fits like a paint job, but grips like a constrictor—an angry brutish one—with variable force settings from press to squash. The blackouts, our 21st century swoon, are a nuisance—but like a hangover, or indigestion, the payback for good times savoured, limits tested.

The forced cram of the tensile body suit came after the Babymen, but before Keep it Wet—which hasn’t really caught on, frankly. Tight brought back beauty and line, which wasn’t a Babyman thing; it came from the later iteration Bay-bees who hosted those parties with the Games, with all those press syndicated pictures—of the Antics—things you could do For Free With Friends; particularly the bindings, the wearing of undersize, and the Cramming: into cupboards, cars, under beds etc.

The finger traction is out on my gloves. They look good, fit like a second skin, but with little articulation at the phalanges I can only grip with my wrists, or open-palmed, as if with flippers. I need to build up digit strength, or buy another pair. It is a quandary.

We don’t move so much, and running is guaranteed to end in swoons: lazy lungs is a side-effect, it’s true. But contemplation and all things static are now ours. Take it Slow and Look Forward. Perspective shifts are not kind to recent history—with the ugliness of the open-necked, the wastefulness of the loose-fitting; things may not be perfect now, but the past looks decidedly Fast and Flabby to the modern eye.

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