they have lost paradise

The video still shows a close-up of an eye that is staring directly into the camera. The pupil reflects light source.
Still from a livestream of the performance de_colon_isation part VI by Pêdra Costa, taken with a dildo camera

 
Audio transcription.
 

 

wtf is that?

That sounds like a letter, a manifesto, a trail of lost academicism, a flirting, a tutorial, a performative writing, a conjuration.

 

introducing me at this moment

As a performance artist, my work is experienced through my presence – through my body on stage. As an empath, the exchange of knowledge takes place in the depths of direct personal relationships. On the other hand, I need solitude. I must recharge my emotional batteries, create my art works, and ritualize my daily routine.

 

the 14th Saturday in 2020

I have finally joined the new labour system, which is imposed on artist freelancers like me by the current moment of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was invited to perform in two festivals, one from Germany and another from Brazil. I performed for digital livestream and I gave a workshop about self care as part of the festival WITHIN THE LONELY HOURS hosted by the traditional theater Munich Kammerspiele, curated by Keith Zenga King. The festival was supposed to be in person but, due to the circumstances, it adapted. At the festival in Brazil, I had a conversation with Sabine Passareli about LGBTQIA+ Strategies in Europe for the MARSHA ENTRA NA SALA (MARSHA ENTERS THE ROOM), a 20 hours livestream festival made by Trans People and Travestis with a financial campaign for the organizers, guests, and for two shelters for trans people.

 

because of it

WITHIN THE LONELY HOURS and the way it happened from confinement made me think of the concept of solipsism. One of the quotes from the festival speaks to this moment: a silent plague, an epidemic of loneliness is incarcerating us. Self-declared “social media” are rather distancing us from each other instead of connecting. The first time I encountered that term, it was in Masculinity, Solipsism, Choreography: Bruce Nauman, Juan Dominguez, Xavier Le Roy from the book Exhausting Dance – Performance and the politics of movement by André Lepecki (2006). Somehow, two different moments are meeting in this writing, in this attempt to think, feel, and reflect on my performance. The first moment is the ballerina’s phallic waltz, a performance I made in 2006 – an angry queer solipsistic dance into the closet, aka the men’s toilet. The second one is the performance de_colon_isation part VI, which I presented via livestream for WITHIN THE LONELY HOURS. Where I am right now was only possible because of those experiences. Fourteen years apart. Same worries. Everything still mixes inside me. 

 

 

solipsism

We are watching the selfish subjectivities exhibited. 

From Latin solus/alone, and ipse/self, solipsism reveals that the only reality in the world is me. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. The solipsism of the present moment extends the skepticism to our own past states, so that all that remains is the present self. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that the knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure. Perhaps solipsism could be a performative contradiction. 

 

they’ve lost paradise

because the pandemic became a pandemonium.

because they don’t know what to do.

because they will lose their ground.

because they failed.

but not us. 

 

how to escape the trap of selfishness?

Empathy. 

Resilience.

We are always collective, never individuals.

Do you know The Seven Hermetic Principles?

 

we cast spells, cackling

She was condemned by the law of the inquisition to be burned alive on Good Friday. The priest prayed and the people followed, the more the fire burned, the more she cackled.

We don’t die.

We enchanted ourselves.

 

inbodiesvisibleborders

When I wrote the concept of de_colon_isation part VI: inbodiesvisibleborders, which premiered at HAU last year, I conjured the future and I birthed a solipsistic performance. What/how/where are the in/visible borders and bodies? What/how/where are the limits between each one? What is visible? A virtual future; a real one. Where we are now is where we are building the future. The future is here, through us. We are ancestors of those who are coming. Our memories will be virtual, and they will access them. In addition, they will access our strengths, survival strategies, and our invisible legacy as well. We are those who are changing, right here and right now, the future. We are the archeology of the future. Can queerness be queer without a body? At last, there will be no queer future without a destruction of the colonial past, capitalist present, and normative, anthropocentric, binary society.

 

 

how did we get here and what do we do now?

Nowadays, we have to have an anticolonial ethics.

Post-nowadays, we have to continue to have it. 

Otherwise, the aesthetics will become emptied. 

Your fancy aesthetic is empty. 

We put on the masks to stop the virus from spreading, and so all the other masks fell off.

Now that you have seen beyond the matrix, change how things are changing. 

Do your homework and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

As Jup do Bairro conjured, “Travesti Art is the only possible post-apocalyptic art.”

 
 

Text and video stills by Pêdra Costa


Pêdra Costa is a ground breaking, formative Brazilian, urban anthropologist and performer based in Berlin that utilizes intimacy to connect with collectivity. They work with their body to create fragmented epistemologies of queer communities within ongoing colonial legacies. Their work aims to decode violence and transform failure whilst tapping into the powers of resilient knowledge from a plethora of subversive ancestralities that have been integral anticolonial and necropolitical survival.

 
 

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