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Suspension Experiences

b>A Word From: Svend Jensen age21. (I`m the Dude With The Green Hair)

Member of a performance art group called "SIDESHOW" and currently a trainee body piercer.

The idea started with Modern Primitives. I had been sitting and browsing through some books in the piercing studio one day and immediately realized that that was what I wanted to do. That was about two and a half years ago and it stuck in my brain.

    One day, about four months ago, Alan, from GASS

nightclub, (now THO The Harder Option) which gives Sideshow, the performance art group I work with regular bookings, phoned and asked us to do a suspension for the clubs first birthday party.(The seed which I had previously planted had begun to germinate) I obviously jumped at the chance.

   By this stage we had already accumulated loads of

information on the subject from the Internet.

   After three months of intense mental preparation, planning

and helping to build the rig, the night arrived.

   Due to the fact that we had done a lot of preparation, I

was totally relaxed until the marking Started, where I had a few butterflies, which disappeared as soon as we were on stage.

   The hook insertions were a little painful at first but

became more tolerable as they progressed. I had expected them to be a little more intense.

   As the rig was lifted and the ropes tightened, it felt as

if the hooks would be ripped from my skin, and then amazingly my body left the stage and all pain subsided.

I felt each hook in my body and especially when I moved any part of my body but there was no pain and there was this incredible floating sensation and I couldn't help grinning at my friends and at the crowd.

   The sense of achievement at the time was overwhelming. I

felt completely calm and focused The whole time and then I started to feel the cold and began to shiver.

   I told Eddie and he immediately brought us down, after

being suspended for twenty two minutes.

   It is definitely something I would like to experience


   I don't think that your first suspension is something you

will ever forget.

A Word From Soubi. Soubi Soubiran: age: 30. (I`m the hairy dude)

Currently a member of SIDESHOW.

When I was a kid I had a book about the life of the Sioux Chief, Crazy Horse and in the book was a double page painting of the Sundance and ever since then I have had a fascination for Suspensions and have always been interested in the spiritual side of a performance art. When Svend and myself met, we spoke of different types of performance art and this was the first time anyone had actually taken me seriously when I said that I would like to perform a suspension. This was the first time that I actually had the venue and the technical support to do something I had always wanted to do. About four months ago, I found out that it could actually become a reality.

Most people that a spoke to tried their best to discourage me from doing the suspension but in the end, I was surprised by the support and understanding that I received from my friends, and to those that gave their support, Thank You!

It was only the day before the Suspension, and after I had seen the completed rig and all the gear, that I was able to relax and on the night, because of all the preparations that had been done, I was perfectly calm.

After the markings had been completed, I went and sat on the stage and tried to develop communication with the waiting crowd which had gathered around the rig, waiting for the spectacle to begin. While the music really pumped and the people crowded in to get a better view, the excitement was electric. I noticed many familiar faces which was really encouraging.

Then we started. We lay down on the stage and before I realized what was happening, the hooks were being inserted. The clamps were a little irritating but I managed to shut from my mind, all sensations of pain. Cade relaxed me with a massage while the ropes were being inserted into the hooks. I noticed the audience around me and plenty of movement and can remember wondering whether my brain was still part of my body at that stage.

As the rig was lifted and the ropes became tighter, I thought that I would not be able to go through with it. I saw the skin begin to lift and stretch. One girl put a bracelet in my hand just before we lifted. I remember holding it tightly and eventually as we lifted, I could no longer feel it in my hand. The noise of the chain through the chain block I heard above the sound of the music. Eventually as the chain stopped clattering, I realized that I could no longer hear the music which was pumping almost right next to me and I had never before experienced that feeling of total relaxation. It felt as if I consisted of two lines and that the rest of my body had disappeared. I could feel the warmth from the underpants, radiating through to the rest of my body and I could not decide whether or not I was asleep or awake. When I opened my eyes, I saw all the faces around me shine with warmth.

Time stood still and it felt as if we had been up there for about two minutes when I felt a energy at my back. It was a hot, humid galloping energy, which consumed all of me and the decent began. Once on the ground and the hooks removed, I felt that I wanted to be back up there.

The feeling of elation was indescribable and it seemed that I had lost all excess baggage.

After having adhesive plasters stuck over the wounds, I went into the club and partied with the rest of the crowd and felt no pain, discomfort or any ill effects from the experience.

Thank you to everyone that made this memorable experience possible and thank you in anticipation to those who will make it possible in the future.

A Word From Eddie Graham. age: (hes not saying) Im the Dude With No Hair.

Sole member of WICKED Body Piercing and Jewellery Studios cc and total mirc addict, aka Stich.

Firstly, a huge thanks to all my friends here at home and on IRC that, even although they thought I was a nut, gave me the encouragement and the support to pull this off. Thanks vrgn DerBaron LATEX Bugs. A special thanks to Alan from GASS (The Harder Option) Club and Therapy for giving us the venue. Credits To
Cade, from BODY JEWELLERY who worked to my pretty exacting specifications and made the Hooks, which worked like a dream, assisted with the suspension and was a really good friend. Brendon, who is currently the manager of the Pretoria branch of WICKED for inserting the hooks
into Soubi and with Cade as his assistant did and excellent job Paul who, as my assistant, had everything in the right place at the right time. I`m sure that With out even trying, we must have broken some kind of record for inserting twenty hooks. Everyone who has posted anything about suspensions on the Internet, Thanks Guys! Wayne who gave a hand with most things. Don't worry Wayne, ill get you a new ring gag.

When I was approached by Svend to mastermind the suspension, my immediate reaction was to almost jump for joy.

After going through all the information that was available to me on the Internet and exhausting all avenues of inquiry, I eventually decided to build the frames from 304 stainless steel which, after taking into account all the pros and cons like weight ratios cleanliness and strength was about the only option.

The fact that I have a bit of a fetish for stainless steel I suppose did influence my decision in some way.

Everything was then held together by three millimeter wire rope, which proved more than sufficient
to carry the load and yet lightweight enough to cart into and out of a crowded club.

To the guys who recommended lightweight nylon rope, you were right. It worked like a charm and ran through the guides and the hooks really smoothly and there were no snarl-ups.

The entire rig was lifted by one 500kg chain block and because of the lightweight construction, reduced the jerking motion caused by the chain to a minimum.

All hooks were made from 2.4mm 316L highly polished stainless and did not bend anywhere near as
much as I had suspected they would.

As we raised the rig, all the nylon rope evened itself out and because of the balanced nature of the frame, both guys lifted from the stage at the same time.

The elation felt by Svend and Soubi was shared by the whole team responsible for the suspension and was mirrored in the faces of the spectators who were in awe at the sheer beauty of the spectacle.

When, after only 22minutes I lowered the rig to the stage again, the applause from the crowd was pretty thunderous. The only thing that had not been taken into account was the unpredictable weather in Johannesburg at this time of the year, combined with the restricted blood flow of the two guys which caused them to feel the cold a little more than they, or we would have expected.

Once down, and having had the hooks removed and special adhesive plasters applied, Svend and Soubi went off and partied with the rest of the crowd.

A memorable experience was had by all and it was decided unanimously that it was one of the highlights of our lives.

Again a very special thank you to everyone who participated and to anyone who made it possible.

                            WTF We're gonna do it again

sometime anyway.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 March 1999
in Ritual

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