Fixed ideas of the natural and the normal are nothing more than structures created over time by dominant systems of oppression. Anything that fails to conform to their structures is automatically suppressed by them. The aim of this project is to explore the fluidity of gender, and the ways in which difference can be seen as an opportunity instead of a hindrance; a form of resistance against the violence of classification. How one’s inability to enter certain societal structures can be seen as an act of criticism and refusal. An opportunity in order to challenge them. One’s ascendancy of choosing what they can be instead of being fixed to what they have been ascribed. The body as a weapon which enables one to explore multiple possibilities not subscribed to by heteronormative conventions. An endless becoming.
A Strangely Glorious Opportunity explores this idea through a scope of different narratives and approaches.
Wu Tsang: Shape of a Right Statement
Staring directly at the camera, Tsang re-performs one section of ‘In My Language,’ a forceful address by autism rights activist Amanda Baggs. Tsang’s powerful video manifesto was shot at The Silver Platter, home to his club Wildness, following a year in which the artist had presented live performances of the Baggs text. Tsang mimetically reproduces the voice of Baggs’s Speech Generation Device, stating, “It is only when I type something in your language that you refer to me as having communication”.
Carlos Motta: Gender Talents - 3 Portraits
Gender Talents is an ongoing web-based project by Carlos Motta, whose aim is to "document the ways in which society conditions and regulates bodies and how gender activists build politics of resistance and action.” Showcasing portraits of trans and intersex individuals, it explores real accounts of experiences and challenges faced around the world. More info: www.gendertalents.info
Guatemala: Sex Work, Zona 1
In the first of three videos we see sex workers in Guatemala and get exposed to the everyday challenges they face due to their place in society.
New York: Tiger Devore
Tiger Devore is an intersex activist and certified sex therapist. In this video he explains what intersex means as well as the implications that an intersex person’s identity has in western society.
India: Sangama & Aneka Trust, Bangalore
LGBTI organizations who work on the rights of sexual minorities in Bangalore. Their aim is to transform society by helping working class transgender people who are completely cut off by it.
Oreet Ashery: Marcus Fisher’s Wake
A short mockumentary depicting the life of Marcus Fisher, Oreet Ashery’s alter ego. The video, a mix of footage from public interventions and performances made by the artist as an orthodox Jewish man, that took place in London, Berlin and Tel Aviv and narrating Marcus Fischer’s short fictional life.
Pauline Boudry/ Renate Lorenz: Salomania
Performed by Wu Tsang and Yvonne Rainer, the video takes up Salome as a transgender figure and the concept of a queer appropriation of the exotic. An important fictional figure for the beginning of 20th century, often taken on film and theatre, Salome stood for entrepreneurial independence and sexual freedom.
Ursula Mayer: Gonda
A human is defined by potemtial, not by obedience to template”, hears Gonda’s voice. Gonda is loosely informed by Ayn Rand’s 1937 novel Ideal. Ursula Mayer’s film is a critical reading of aspects of revolutionary modernism, breaking down binary oppositions of gender and exploring aesthetics, ethics and politics, all embedded in film language and creating a dream like experience.
Curated by Panos Fourtoulakis