Silk, Slime, and Steam

Two faces with a disco ball, stars, lightening, and futuristic elements

I find art openings to be strange experiences. Silky tops, glasses in hand, crowds of people shifting positions, noise noise noise. It’s difficult to see the art, to focus into a conversation, and there is so much activity I sometimes just don’t know what to do.

My favorite thing to do at an opening is to have something to do. In a way, live performance offers that, somewhere to be, something to engage with. Beyond just that, it is an exposure – of the performer and of the audience. Everything must arrive for a moment into realtime and realspace, the ‘there’ and ‘then’ of the event, to have an experience together. It’s not entertainment. It’s being together, in particular ways. Live performance is a way of speaking that is specific, oriented, and evocative.

The three performance acts in the LUCKY Vernissage on July 6th, 2018 are distinct in their acts of play and, in my perspective, reflect a triptych of approaches to the illusive and explorative themes underneath the LUCKY mirage.

Laura G. Jones and Alexander Linton will perform Babypunk ft. Babuyoka. Anarel·la Martínez-Madrid will offer PLAY ME: A performance about sex and consent. While supporting the production needs for Zinzi Buchanan and Trev Flash, I had a chance to see some rehearsal moments and chat about the work they will present, future babies. Here are some images from the work and imagination trails they created in me.

Finger dipping
Egg cracking
Wear and Tear

Humans having humans having humans. But ‘we’ are surely not the only ones. And what about other creaturely progeny? What about squids and slugs and other beings of the slimey sort?

Some build multi-floor complex with room after room of flat surface and people running around ready to catch. Some are restricted, controlled, explode, depending who you are and what sort of deal is negotiated with the government. Some do it in a field on flattened grass – no show, no hurrah, just like that. Some make decisions, assist, deny, support.

I want to attend a conference where steam as it rises and curls delivers a lecture on doulaship.

A dance and song number reminds me of the regime of the biological clock reflected in the physically erect present of the clock tower. Federici speaks of the time when such machines came to hover over market squares. Looming, reminding. And now. And now. And now? The cross turned into a ticking time bomb, internalized in each of us.

How do you make family?


Words by Shelley Etkin 

Photo by Zinzi Buchanan and Trev Flash

Shelley Etkin is an Israeli-American transdisciplinary artist, working between dance, performance, ecology, queer feminisms, curation, and community organizing. She works closely with Ponderosa, a rural dance/performance center in Brandenburg. Shelley has collaborated with COVEN Berlin since 2014 as a performer and co-organizer, including Queeries into Collective Feminisms, an international residency held during summer 2016. 

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