Shary Boyle - Kauno Bienalė

Shary Boyle


The Trampled Devil, 2021

Video, 12 minutes, 20 seconds

written, directed and performed by Shary Boyle

Commissioned for the Kaunas Biennial, 2021

CAMERA John Price

EDITOR Ehsan Gharib

STUDIO ASSISTANCE Alexa MacKenzie and Jenna Purnell

SET HAND Jenna Purnell

The Trampled Devil re-imagines the missing body of St Michael the Archangel from the sculpture of the same name, as performed by the artist using animation techniques on an overhead projector, hand-made theatre props, and her own costumed characters.

The film, conceived as a site-specific narrative, completes the statue all the while complicating its original narrative of good triumphing over evil. An archetypal cast of characters – the White Witch, Vampire Bat, Devil, Crone and “Warbanks”, a finance CEO who looks suspiciously like Andy Warhol – shape-shift through negotiation, trickery and magical exchange.

A cautionary tale, The Trampled Devil embodies the troubling ambiguity of our species: suggesting that only through vigilance and an honest heart might we hope to keep our inner devils pinned eternally beneath our better natures.