Of course this work, concerning twins, Jane and Frank—who as children vie for father’s attentions, Jane easily winning out since their father, a veterinarian/taxidermist, evidently is a heterosexual pederast, who invites is daughter into his room to “sing”—is filled with clever but clearly “naughty” sexual content that years ago got Fleck, along with several other performers and photographers, in trouble with the National Endowment for the Arts and several senators and congressmen (such as Senator Jesse Helms and Congressman Dana Rohrabacker for example). In this work, the twins apparently can’t keep their hands off one another, and when a child that looks like both of them is born, they quickly fricassee the fetus. I could see even the smart westsiders who attended this event flinch when Fleck described this scene. Good for them! This performer requires moral scruples in order for his art to mean. Horror can only be horror if it stands against our culture’s deepest values, which, of course, is the problem with certain senators, congressmen, and even presidents who cannot attend to that differentiation.
This House of Taxidermy (also described at its entrance as a School of Vocal Inflection), clearly, is a house of horrors, into which the Garfield-like character, William—“a very attractive man with a lush head of hair (and a secret),” who drives his sports car off of the blacktop highway into a ditch in the state of Maine, is as certain a victim as Marion Crane in Psycho (both of whom have apparently stolen a great deal of money). Certainly, Jane (now Old Jane) sees the young William with a vision of guilty lust similar to that of Anthony Perkins’ in his taxidermically decorated den just behind his motel’s front desk.
Since Frank (now Old Frank) is temporarily out of town, she invites the handsome William in; who soon perceives that the territory into which he has entered is close to The Island of Doctor Moreau (if you haven’t seen John Frankenheimer’s just awful 1996 version with Marlon Brando, rush to it before it disappears; the titles alone are worth the trip). Crows, crickets, parrots, pigs, even an orangutan (all of whom Fleck brilliantly imitates) inhabit this house, who, when for inexplicable reasons the entire citizenry, evacuated this Maine outpost, posted their animals on Jane and Frank’s front porch. Now in their second and third generations, the completive animals appear to be the major food source for the twins.
Fortunately, even here Fleck plays the comedian, arguing that the word simulacrum itself sounds like a baby formula (again creating a wonderfully new metaphor, suggesting that Baudrillard’s idea is a kind childish formulation of ideas about imitation and truth), and admitting that “Honestly the only real reason that I’m doing this that it appears I’m too old to get a job in Hollywood, so I said “Fuck em’ I going to make my own movie and play all the parts.”