16 November 2016

Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions @ Volksroom, Brussels

On Tuesday 13 September 2016 from 20:00, Xenia Taniko Dwertmann, Roni Katz, Elena Betros and myself hosted the the performative event Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions at Volksroom, Brussels.



Having met earlier this year in Berlin, the four of us each contributed elements of our work - past and present - creating an evening of interconnected acts; we performed iterations of our divergent practices with one another and the audience. Tunes before and after were by Thomas Proksch. Photo documentation Thomas Dupal.



Here's the introduction, written by Dwertmann, Katz and I:

We invited ourselves to a new city, then we invited others. We are hosting hosted. And here is where we insist. On the impossibility, the inappropriate and impertinent. This is an attempt. This is a rehearsal. A rehearsal of (all) sorts, to endlessly prepare for the inevitable. Since inevitably, boundaries are made to be crossed.

We could say that these practices are like the question-exclamation-marks, commas and period, the Doppelpunkt of our lives, addressing our work, and the world we inhabit. We ask ourselves and one another: What are the borderlines between our public and and our private, friend and lover, leisure and labor, between work, life and art? If we are at work all the time, what do we labor for? What about the nonproductive labor that happens in the most private parts of our life, shed away from the public, performed in households, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms. The kind of labor that one performs with oneself, or next to another. What happens when that private and invisible, secret thing is performed publicly? How can being publicly intimate be an act of caring for oneself in a community-constituting way? Who says where this belongs, and what is longed to be public? When practicing public intimacy, we slide through the confessional, the biographical, the social, the political, the paradoxical, the poetic. In the poetry of the paradox lies a radical intimacy with one’s own body, producing queer satisfaction on its own terms, making way for friction and conflict, fantasies, healing, shame, self-pleasuring, rage, panic, madness, obsessions, desires.

Is this labor, this language, leading anywhere?




I presented two pieces of writing. The first, read by me, was three short narrative vignettes taken from my contributions to Exquisite Consequences (2016), published on EFFE. The second was a text titled "A text by someone who could have done otherwise", written to parallel a work by Betros that was exhibited at West Space, Melbourne in 2014. Originally written in a script form, though intended to be read in private, the Volksroom event was a chance for this piece to be read aloud, with our four voices taking each line in turn.



For more info, you can visit the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/291288867909856/



Thanks to Roni, Xenia, Elena, Thomas and Volksroom for their welcome and trust.

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