The second recipient of LADA’s annual Library of Performing Rights commission was Nando Messias who developed The Pink Supper, a performance project ‘bringing together ambassadors from countries where homosexuality is still criminalised’. The Pink Supper was a response to a global political climate of renewed religious and political intolerance and violence towards queer people.
The Pink Supper was presented at Raven Row London on 7 and 8 November 2019.
The Pink Supper is Nando Messias’ latest artistic response to the question: how can artists ethically respond to issues of social injustice?
“Having just returned from a visit to my native country, I re-experienced the fear which comes from being in a place where violence and oppression are such common part of daily life. Despite its international image, Brazil remains the number one country for trans murders—a most shameful indictment indeed.
“I experienced daily abuse myself when living in Brazil. I know well what effects it can have on one’s life. It almost cost me mine. I am lucky to have managed to escape. But what of those who cannot afford to? The Pink Supper is dedicated to them. It is my way of telling them that they are not alone, or forgotten and that I understand their suffering because I have been there too.”
In this new work, Messias invites representatives from places where LGBTQI+ rights are under threat. The Pink Supper promotes the understanding of these rights through the shared experience of sitting around a table, breaking bread and witnessing performance. You are invited too. The performances take place between courses. Wear pink … actually wear anything you like—it’s all about being open and being yourself.
“I’m used to queer performers declaring their pain to a queer audience who is also in pain, like it’s a competition. I’m so used to trans people shouting the pain of being passed over for an opportunity or show like it’s the same as a death spectacle of trans women of colour. Nando says, I’m lucky to be here I should do something with it, not just I am here and that is enough.”
The Right Lube: The Pink Supper by Nando Messias/dancing with Judas
Nando Messias’ work straddles performance art, dance and theatre, creating performances that combine beautiful images with a fierce critique of gender, visibility and violence. They have performed at prestigious venues such as Hayward Gallery, V&A, Tate Gallery, Roundhouse, RVT and ICA, among other spaces across the UK and extensively on the international circuit.
As well as a practitioner, Nando is movement director and a para-academic of queer theory and performance. Nando’s publications include ‘Sissy that Walk: The Sissy’s Progress’ in “Queer Dramaturgies” (2016), ’visibility: Performance and Activism’ in “Performing Interdiscisplinarity” (2017) and ‘Injurious Acts: a Struggle With Sissy in Performance’ in “Choros International Dance Journal” (2018). They created a LADA Study Room Guide entitled “Sissy: a Study Room Guide on effeminacy, queer visibility and social violence” (2018).
Nando’s solo work has been curated by LADA as part of ‘Just Like a Woman,’ shown in the City of Women Festival (2013), New York and London (2015). The Sissy series of performances toured the country to much acclaim and press interest.
The LPR commission is part of LADA’s Restock Rethink Reflect Five: on Managing the Radical (2019 – 2021), and is additionally supported by South Bank University and The Study Room In Exile.
The Library of Performing Rights (LPR) was originally created by Lois Weaver and Queen Mary University London in collaboration with LADA in 2016 for Performance Studies international (PSi)12: Performing Rights. Since August 2017 the LPR has been reimagined and reactivated, in collaboration with Lois Weaver, the artist and researcher Elena Marchevska and the Study Room In Exile in Liverpool, as a concept or approach to research and practice rather than a distinct collection and is available as a place of action, a place of knowledge exchange, a repository of experience, and a resource and a context that others can use to support and advance their own work both at LADA and elsewhere.
As part of these developments we have instigated an annual Library of Performing Rights commission. Through an open call for proposals artists were invited to propose projects that responded to the LPR and involved three core elements – a live performance/presentation, the generation of a new LPR item, and the dispersal of ideas or knowledge.
Banner image credit:
The Pink Supper, Nando Messias, 2019. Image by Holly Revell.
The Library of Performing Rights is available as a place of action, a place of knowledge exchange, a repository of experience, and a context that others can use to support and advance their own work both at LADA and elsewhere.
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