A selection of performance videos reflecting on how stories of migration, border-crossing and refuge-seeking are integrated within ecological discourses from queer, feminist and decolonial perspectives.
Curated by CUNTemporary as part of EcoFutures festival. Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser, Feral Theatre (Emily Laurens, Rachel Porter, Persephone Pearl) and Quimera Rosa will be present to discuss their work.
Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser
Lovable Shells – (A)mare Conchiglie, 2016
19mins 44 secs
Just before sunset on July 3, 2015, a performance piece began on the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the town of Nettuno, south of Rome. Rome-based artists Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser set a long table in the water and invited elderly Italians and recent African migrants to share their stories over a meal. This project is an example of the ways that artists are sharing and opening up conversations about migration. The title A(mare) Conchiglie translates as “Sea Shells” and is a play on words which suggests that the stories shared are like shells (“conchiglie”) from the sea (“mare”) that are bitter (“amare”) and to be loved (“amare”). With their performance, Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser reveal timeless connections between generations, Italian migrants of the past and African migrants of the present, and the endless struggle for dialogue: “we shall never forget that a hundred years ago the Italian migrants were those who drowned in the sea during their desperate trips to America.”
9 minutes, 19 seconds
Inspired by historian and technoscience scholar Professor Michelle Murphy and her concept of ‘alterlife’ in ‘damaged and damaging worlds’, Alterlife/Aftermath focuses upon the accidental introduction of the Round Goby to the Great Lakes of North America and Canada. The Great Lakes are heavily polluted and the scene of complex ongoing ecological harms due to industrialisation – specifically the manufacture of persistent synthetic chemicals by Monsanto in the 20th century. The Round Goby is a resilient and adaptable species of fish, able to tolerate relatively high levels of these chemicals. Flourishing in these damaged ecosystems, it is classed as an invasive ‘nuisance’ species and subject to a control programme. With multiple genders, the Round Goby’s sexed living being provides a way to sample and map the presence of endocrine disrupters like PCBs in the disturbed and transitioning Great Lakes. As Murphy puts it, ‘the Round Goby is a trans-animal and a queer survivor’ responding to the complex chemistry and entanglements of the ongoing aftermath of capitalism and colonialism.
The Men behind the Wall, 2018
Tinder. Woman seeks men. Man seeks women. Everything would be so simple if she weren’t in Israel and the guys nearby weren’t in the West Bank. Ines, an Israeli woman from Tel Aviv, the creator of the film and the main protagonist, makes contact with men from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through dating websites and apps, overlooking the perpetual conflict in the background. Straddling the virtual and physical worlds, she goes on a journey through the West Bank, despite it being prohibited by Israeli law and considered a social taboo.
Strange Quosmonauts fucking in the moon, 2011
Moon shag with no gravity.
We leave the Earth to howl with the cosmonaut pack.
We got marriage papers with the lunar stones.
In this performance, presented by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Sthephens at Hard Cabaret (Barcelona), Quimera Rosa travel to the moon to celebrate a Silver Wedding to the rocks.
Performers and editing: Quimera Rosa. Camera: Majo PostOp.
Licence CC (by-nc-sa).
To The Rhythm Of The Swing, 2012
Between the cities of Tijuana and San Diego there is a metal wall belonging to the government of the United States: a zone of North American national security. Mexican performer Rocio Boliver swung over the border between Mexico and the USA using a swing attached to a crane, watched closely by an armed group of United States mounted police. “I thought while swinging, – if the police are in contact, what will they communicate to the command base? “Someone is crossing the border now…, not now…, now…, not now…, now”… For a moment I was afraid that they could shoot me, but being up there I felt totally free and happy!” Boliver covered her face with a long white veil, leaving a blank canvas for all the faces of those who have been killed while trying to cross the border. Boliver stood on the swing as a demonstration of standing on American soil. No one had thought about the possibility that, in the manner of a children's game, the law could be broken ironically. To complete the action, Boliver lowered her pants and showed her buttocks in a mocking manner, a universal and ancient insult.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Quimera Rosa’s travel has been supported by STEP travel grant (European Cultural Foundation & Compagnia di San Paolo).
Kyrahm + Julius Kaiser is an Italian artist couple based in Rome, with expertise in the fields of visual and performance art, video art, film and activism. Their interest lies on the social function of the artist, existential dynamics, the role of identity, and the experimentation along mental and physical limits and gender roles. Upon their encounter, they started the project Human Installations, comprising of contemporary art, performance art, live art and avant-garde theatre. In a constant dialogue with cinema, they create works of video art, documentaries and films.
Feral Theatre began in 2007, working in homes, community spaces and outdoors. Working as an ensemble using shadows, puppetry, music, clown, physical performance, ritual and moving image, Feral Theatre (FT) tell stories that celebrate perspectives and narratives that are often overlooked, and which imagine and articulate ways that different worlds are possible. Exploring memory and interconnectedness, generating timely performance which does not flinch from asking uncomfortable questions, FT want to stir up conversations and create vibrant experiences that make difficult themes bearable and beautiful. In 2011 FT co-founded the annual Remembrance Day for Lost Species. FT continue to develop participatory spaces for acknowledging and responding to biocultural and ecological loss.
Ines Moldavsky is video artist and experimental filmmaker whose practice deals with subjects related to gender roles, sexuality and national identity and explores the relation between them. A graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, Jerusalem, Israel and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, her previous film Cold Facts (2017) was screened in many film festivals around the world.
Created in Barcelona in 2008, Quimera Rosa [Pink Chimera] is a nomadic lab that researches and experiments on body, technoscience and identities. Inspired by Donna Haraway’s notion of the cyborg, defined as “chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism”, the collective deconstructs sex, gender identities and the interactions between body/machine/environment. Sexuality is understood as a technological and artistic creation with which to experiment, hybridize and blur the frontiers between natural / artificial, normal / abnormal, male / female, hetero / homo, human / animal, art / politics, art / science, reality / fiction. Most of Quimera Rosa’s work is conducted in a collaborative manner and free of patents and proprietary codes. It has been presented in streets, contemporary art centres, bars, galleries, universities, concert halls, colleges, discos, museums, squats, festivals and theatres. They aim to develop practices that produce non-natural cyborg identities from a transdisciplinary perspective and see bodies as platforms for public intervention that can test the limits between public and private.
Rocio Boliver’s practice is a sharp and focused critique of the many repressive ideologies burdening the lives of women all over the world: “In this pasteurized society, I prefer to cause disgust, hatred, rejection, confusion, weariness, anxiety, hostility, fear … to further promote mental asepsis.” Since 1992 Boliver has performed in Mexico and many festivals in Europe, Asia, North and South America, including Grace Exhibition Space, New York and City of Women Festival, Slovenia. She has recently been awarded the Scholarship Promotion Projects and Joint Ventures FONCA Cultural granted by National Council for Culture and the Arts.
Banner image credit:
Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser, Lovable Shells – (A)mare Conchiglie, 2016
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