In Ghost Ship Rodez: The Momo Chronicles, Allen pursued a fictional investigation of what may have happened in the mind of French artist, playwright and actor Antonin Artaud during a 17-day journey restrained in the dark hold of the freighter Washington in 1937, and later, in various mental institutions.
In his own interpretation, Allen formed a theater piece titled Ghost Ship Rodez, with Jo Harvey as its principal performer. It was first commissioned in 2005 by Les Subsistances Laboratoire International, Lyon, France and the Texas-French Alliance in Houston, and was further developed at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in 2008, and The Lensic Performing Art Center in association with SITE Santa Fe.
The themes explored in the theater work, were later translated into a suite of works on paper, and two large-scale video/sculpture works. Ghost Ship, 2010, evokes the environment of the ship hold and the cot to which Artaud was laid captive, and includes screens with projected excerpts of films in which Artaud performed. The second, MOMO Lo Mismo, 2010, is a video-based multi-screened installation presented in marionette form, with projections of Jo Harvey Allen’s “Daughter of the Heart” performance.