QUEERING UTOPIA: THE NEW & NOW OF QUEER PERFORMANCE

When:
November 14, 2014 @ 6:15 pm
2014-11-14T18:15:00-05:00
2014-11-14T18:45:00-05:00
Where:
MIX HIVE
337 Butler Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
USA
Cost:
$13
QUEERING UTOPIA: THE NEW & NOW OF QUEER PERFORMANCE @ MIX HIVE | New York | United States

A program of pure performances, some invoking the stage directly (Summer, Monsura is Waiting), others more of a reflection on queerness in the art form (Estudo em Vermelho). The boundaries between “real life” and the imaginary become especially blurry when queer stories are performed (Bathwater), or when queer people come up against the limits of representation in pre-existing stories that were written without a queer sensibility (Ancestries). —Curated by the Festival Programming Committee.

Summer

Hand-drawn animation moves to Vivaldi’s Summer. Sharp black lines denote shape, while color is created by thick, crayon-like textures. A red summer sun alights on the stage as the curtain pulls back on the performance. Dinosaurs, the ancient inhabitants of the world, rise out of a lake at sunset, a primordial tribute. Watermelon, that siren of summer, plays prima ballerina, spinning and halving across planar doodles.

I Think You Deserve Both; I Think You Deserve Everything

Different kinds of gender performance: a performer's image is projected on stage during a rock concert. A genderqueer patron leaves the concert, making the journey home to peel false eyelashes off of painted lids. A toddler tapdances. Featuring music by Agatha.

Monsura Is Waiting

Betty and Dot, the “tiny beauties of Infant Island,” have spent the past fifteen years performing a vaudeville act inspired by classic 1960s Japanese horror films. Now middle-aged and washed up, the two are being replaced by club owner Stu with the “the two-ton beauties of Paradise Island,” a pair of drag queens. To make matters worse, Dot relays a secret that could push the already unraveling Betty past the breaking point. Will the Godzilla-like Monsura come and save Betty, or will all her hopes go flying out of the window?

Double Bind

Artists Gilivanka Kedzior & Barbara Friedman repeatedly wind a red cord around their faces. A somber score plays, interrupted by sudden flares of engines and mysterious female voices speaking evocatively on understanding and isolation. “She has two lives,” one utters; “Only I can understand my own condition,” responds another. They wind the cord until it has built up an entirely new structure that binds them in place.

Rehearsal

Movies get mystical in this series of artificial journeys. Audio from Meryl Streep interviews meets an array of old photographs. She recounts instances of closeness with her characters and the blurring of artifice and reality on film sets. Text on the screen, something like stage directions, cuts Meryl off. It’s written across more photographs, as well as footage, some borrowed and some new. A non-diagetic soundtrack suggests actions unseen; gasps, broken glass, and samplings from a classic thriller score.

Si j’etais un homme

A handful of women answer the question “what if you were a man?” Playful, tongue-in-cheek animations illustrate their fantasies of independence and stature, 2-day old stubble and broken noses. The male alter egos live out some of their wildest fantasies, working as lumberjacks and boxers, and resolving to a life “without the oppression of fear…content with very little.”

Estudo em Vermelho (A Study in Red)

A post-modern curation of iconicities, and how they are manufactured. A visually familiar pool of blood blossoms from the head of a man on the floor. A somber, non-descript #science guy you’ve seen before automatically commands authority. As the cliché goes, these images speak volumes before they’ve even said a word, referentially invoking the dogma of modern image making. Later on, the camera pulls away to reveal a labyrinthian team of meaning-makers. Hyper-referentiality and surface-level recognizability belie this work’s more opaque intentions.

Bathwater: A Sur Rodney Sur Story

Part of a series of self-contained “autobiographical shorts” in which the filmmaker pursues critical self-reflection through the artistic practice of an admired artist.  Sensual visuals of a horse and a bath accompany Sur Rodney Sur's tales of lovers in 1970s Montreal.

Bendik & the Monster

A digital animation about Bendik, who befriends the monster underneath his bed. Bendik’s mom has a scumbag for a boyfriend who can’t see the beauty in Bendik’s gentle nature. Meanwhile, Bendik’s monster doesn’t accept that he must be monstrous, dreaming instead of a life as an artist. Together the pair embrace the power of their subversive identities, exploiting their disadvantages to find fulfillment, regardless of the disapproval that is endemic to a unique life.

Ancestries

An Asian man worships and then seduces a faceless Caucasian man while singing an aria from Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns. Their bodies tell discordant stories of identity and desire; each is imbued with a unique symbolic valuation regarding occupation and dominance. The vocalist’s brilliant rendition of the aria further compounds his performance: it is both empirically successful, and a radical reframing of intention. The film operates in the liminal space where bodies are colonized or empowered, as their naked figures relay postcolonial messages of power between themselves. This power dynamic occupies the artists, the music, and the screen space itself, taking our meaning-making facilities hostage and penetrating each performer’s own curatorial agency.

Mindtease

The accidental reveal of a burlesque dancer's “true” identity leads to a moment of self-questioning for the audience, and for one voyeur in particular, some deeper self-exploration.