Harpstrings and Lava


An alchemist and a feral child pull along a tight line bridging control and chaos. The characters teeter between extreme states, embodied by stylised performances and by constructed stage sets: a symmetrical arcade contrasts with a cave full of junk. Fake and real vines snake between the split geography, and a ‘Frankenstein’-like story unfolds along these paths.

Harpstrings and Lava seeks to channel the tension inherent in certain nightmares, specifically in one friend’s ghoulish fantasy about clashing contradictions. In this particular recurrent dream, tensile harpstrings and viscous lava inhabited the same space simultaneously, creating a sensation of visceral dread. Harpstrings and Lava aims to gently animate such ‘hyper-real’ dream images, drawing the viewer closer to the feeling of inexorable, anxious attachment shared by the onscreen characters.


Nina Fog
Zeena Parkins


Composer and Sound Designer
Zeena Parkins

Director of Photography
Nina Kellgren

Guy Ducker

Line Producer
Tom Dingle

Production Manager
Ioanna Karavela

First Camera Assistant
Mike Green

Second Camera Assistant
John Hurley

Camera 2 Operator
Neus Olle

Camera 2 Assistant
Alison Lai

Ewan Cassidy

Suzie Willett
Annika Sommerson

Sound Recordist
Mike Hasler

Sound Mixer
Quentin Chiappetta

Additional Music
Ikue Mori
Shelley Hirsch

Still Photographer
Thierry Bal

Makeup Artist
Caroline Weston

Art Department Assistants
Karolina Raczynska
Erica Cheung
Taka Goto
Jacob Wolff
Charlotte Crowther
Daniel Yeo
Amanda Simon

Thanks to

Nina Folkersma
RoseLee Goldberg
Candida Gertler
Maureen Paley
Phillipe Van Cauteren
Esa Nickle
Len Thornton
Sweet Love Café
Wallis Gallery
Watermill Center

Commissioned by

Outset, London
Performa, New York
SMAK, Ghent