Reality Check with Janine Jembere

Anti-bodies (Playlist)

Anti-bodies (Playlist)

Reality Check, a series of essays initiated by Tanzquartier Wien’s theory curators, is currently dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anti-bodies. It seems tempting to tap into the metaphoric potential of the term. To milk the poetics of it’s associations and write about bodies, resilience, separation and the entanglement of politics and biology. But I am so tired of metaphors and this pandemic, I will spare you and me any aesthetisation of despair. I cannot write about it from a distance and on top of it words are not my desire, anti-bodies are. All I want are plenty of unmetaphorical, unpoetic and no less potent anti-bodies. For everyone of course. I cannot write them into being.

Given the task to reflect on what has been happening the last year, I lack the words. There seems nothing to add to what has already been written and said. And I feel like I don’t need another analysis, I need a break. So instead of offering any proposals I offer you what has been keeping me sane throughout all kinds of crises: music. Music to dance to, to cry to, to dream to, to do whatever is necessary to, to do nothing to.

Let’s start with a song for all those suffering from separation.
A-WA: Habib Galbi

Lockdown? Home is where I want to be.
Talking Heads: Naive Melody

Sustaining us.
Skip James: Hard Times Killing Floor Blues

As a reminder that mom is always holding us in her long arms.
Laurie Anderson’s Oh Superman.

Holding us no matter how much we scream: Stop pressuring me.
Michael and Janet Jackson: Scream

Abner Jay: The Reason Young People Use Drugs

Chaka Khan and sugar and anti-bodies


Janine Jembere is an artist and currently a participant in the “PhD in Practice” programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In addition to that she is involved in an international research project on the topic of “land and dispossession”. In her artistic work and research, she concentrates on resonances of somatic knowledge, sensory hierarchies, ableism, race and gender. Her works include videos, sound works, performances, plays, and installations. Jembere held a scholarship at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Berliner Senat and Fleetstreet Theater Hamburg, among others. Her works have been in shown in Europe and beyond.