“This Study Room Guide outlines the theoretical and practical research I have developed throughout the creation of my Sissy series, which includes a trilogy—Sissy! (2008), The Sissy’s Progress (2015) and Shoot the Sissy (2016)—and an epilogue, Death and the Sissy (2017). In writing it, I have practised wearing the two hats of my life—the artist and the paraacademic—simultaneously. Two hats in one go: a rather glorious image, if you ask me.
Writing has always been central to my artistic practice. I have written essays that function as companions to each of my Sissy performances. This Study Room Guide marks, in turn, the beginning of my journey post-Sissy. This character, which I have recently buried, has been the subject of four live performances, a doctoral thesis, three publications (plus a fourth on the way), tours, workshops, talks, lectures, readings and seminars. The sources that make up the Guide are therefore a map with which to navigate the construction and the destruction of Sissy. Endings are always new beginnings and looking back has allowed me a chance to gather my thoughts before turning around to move forward. I hope the reader finds this record helpful too.
Sissy: an effeminate man a male-bodied individual with marked effeminate gender traits ‘effeminate’ rather than ‘feminine’ un-masculine, approximating femininity and therefore failing at both genders a defiant, resilient and visibly queer member of a minority-within-a-minority group a person who proudly embraces their misalignment, resolutely remains unaligned, exaggerates the gesture, piles on the makeup, shakes their hips wildly when walking (preferably in towering heels), transforming what others see as a ‘mistake’ into their most powerful political statement: my body is my weapon”
Banner image credit:
Death and the Sissy, Nando Messias. Image by Holly Revell.
This Study Room Guide profiles contemporary and historical performance art practices from China in a series of texts and works.Read more
This Study Room Guide, by the performance artist and liar Tom Cassani, draws together resources that inform the sometimes disparate and eclectic field of deception and performance.Read more
Extensive and comprehensive guide on documentation, live performance and its traces and ghosts,inspired by the documents of the Study Room itself.Read more
This Guide addresses performance and activism, and the strategies that artists have engaged with to address radical cultural, social and political agendas.Read more
This Guide directs you to key artworks and texts in the Study Room (and beyond) in which the artist’s intention is to engage the audience in the work.Read more
Responding to a widespread lack of resources on neurodiversity and performance, this Study Room Guide containing a collection of recorded conversations with neurodivergent artists working in Live Art and performance; a list of resources relating to this field and a contextualising essay by the artist Daniel Oliver.Read more
A Study Room Guide considering issues of Performance, Politics, Ethics and Human Rights, in relation to historical and contemporary practices and ideas of representation, documentation and archiving.Read more
Robert Pacitti’s Study Room Guide addresses socially and politically engaged performances that seek to question and transform the institutions of power.Read more
Works that attempt to what possibly lies ahead, be that a city, a forest, a face, a cultural condition, a time, a language, a room or a sky.Read more