S_P_I_T_

Queer Performance Festival Vienna

Queer Performance Festival Vienna

With: Veza Fernández, Ainhoa Hernández Escudero, Markus Gebhardt & Beta M. Alexander, Raymond Liew Jin Pin & Team, Hyo Lee, Claire Lefèvre with Sophie Utikal and Zosia Hołubowska, Ell Potter & Mary Higgins, Nina Sandino, Aaron Josi Sternbauer, Storm, Avantika Tibrewala, Crystal Wall / Curated by: Lisa Holzinger, Denise Kottlett

This year’s edition of S_P_I_T_ is entirely dedicated to queer visibility and pleasure activism. The concept goes back to adrienne maree brown, emphasising the political dimension of pleasure as a tool for social change. brown encourages radical self-expression. According to her, sexuality is part of liberation and an important aspect of holistic activism. Particularly in response to societal crises, creating spaces for joy, creativity, and empowerment is essential. pleasure activism challenges existing norms and systems and invites us to explore alternative forms of coexistence. In the words of Toni Cade Bambara, ‘The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.’

In its fifth year, the festival presents a hybrid mix of performances, music and discourse by local and international artists; a variety of queer experiences. See you at S_P_I_T _!

S_P_I_T_ supporting programme:

With ECHOES OF ECSTASY: Unbound Tongues, Markus Gebhardt and Beta M. Alexander create a food installation of elaborate aspic variations as part of the festival – an experimental buffet between queerness and emancipation. The artist talks, chaired by Hyo Lee, once again provide insights into the creative processes and personal perspectives of the artists. The workshop Embodied Echoes by Aaron Josi Sternbauer and Crystal Wall explores the interplay of sensations, pleasure, boundaries and the relationship between voice and movement. Lastly, Claire Lefèvre invites you to a radically soft space on the festival weekend. Amid works by textile artist Sophie Utikal, you can relax, read or indulge in soundscapes by Zosia Hołubowska.

S_P_I_T_ is supported by the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs, Vienna.

With thanks to our hotel partner:

27.06.
29.06.
Thu–Sat
 
TQW Studios

Day ticket: € 20/15

Festival Day 1
27.06.
TQW Studios

ECHOES OF ECSTASY: UNBOUND TONGUES by Markus Gebhardt and Beta M. Alexander is an aspic buffet that trips off the tongue and transcends taste norms. Indulge in a tantalising celebration of pleasure, queerness, and the liberating power of colourful choices. Not only will the long-remaining flavours provoke some collective tongue-in-cheek activism.

During the three festival days, Claire Lefèvre invites you to a radically soft space: a room to rest, take breaks between shows and flip through all her favourite books. Arrive early, grab a blanket, relax your jaw and let your shoulders drop. Works by textile artist Sophie Utikal hover in the room: they can be sensed, caressed, or used to hide behind. A gentle soundscape composed by Zosia Hołubowska cocoons your ears. Cuddle puddles encouraged but not mandatory. Sit down. Slow down. Melt down. This work is a pocket-sized version of Claire’s stage work FULL MELT DOWN, which explores radical softness as a choreographic practice and a form of resistance. Here, sensorial experiences and intuition are cherished, and there is no such thing as being too dramatic, too emotional, or too soft.

TQW Studios

Storm is a versatile artist who serves drama, sexiness, and camp. She uses drag as an outlet to express her emotions without having the fear of being judged or misunderstood.

The group piece Maria Cencaru – A Southeast Asian Cis-Sis Reunion by Raymond Liew Jin Pin, in turn, provides an extraordinary insight into the work of an artist whose queer identity originated in a courageous act of self-development. As a child, Raymond’s mother dressed him up in a gold sequined dress and took him to a talent show – even though cross-dressing and homosexuality were and still are illegal and taboo in Malaysia. More than 20 years later, Raymond returns to that moment in drag as Maria Cencaru with friends from the Southeast Asian diaspora. A queer memory of traditional, urban, and contemporary dances, images, and words is formed from their shared movement. Maria Cencaru is a desire to relive a childhood memory, the commonality of their different identities, a collective movement and the long overdue cis-sis family reunion.

‘I fear for my trans-/queer siblings who are constantly resisting, I fear for what the country will become, I fear for my future. Before we can say that Malaysia is a diverse country, trans- and queer people should be able to exist there. Sometimes, I wish that Malaysia would recognise how the colonial past still shapes our society – in terms of queerness – how much erasure has been done and how much freedom we have lost. Malaysia should be celebrating the diversity it naturally possesses. My gender and queerness are not a threat to anybody.’ — Paula Pau

Daily schedule
Thu 27.06.

10.00–13.00
Workshop Embodied Echoes by Aaron Josi Sternbauer & Crystal Wall

18.30
Meet & greet / Supporting programme

19.30
Festival opening & start performance programme including Storm and Raymond Liew Jin Pin

Festival Day 2
28.06.
TQW Studios

ECHOES OF ECSTASY: UNBOUND TONGUES by Markus Gebhardt and Beta M. Alexander is an aspic buffet that trips off the tongue and transcends taste norms. Indulge in a tantalising celebration of pleasure, queerness, and the liberating power of colourful choices. Not only will the long-remaining flavours provoke some collective tongue-in-cheek activism.

During the three festival days, Claire Lefèvre invites you to a radically soft space: a room to rest, take breaks between shows and flip through all her favourite books. Arrive early, grab a blanket, relax your jaw and let your shoulders drop. Works by textile artist Sophie Utikal hover in the room: they can be sensed, caressed, or used to hide behind. A gentle soundscape composed by Zosia Hołubowska cocoons your ears. Cuddle puddles encouraged but not mandatory. Sit down. Slow down. Melt down. This work is a pocket-sized version of Claire’s stage work FULL MELT DOWN, which explores radical softness as a choreographic practice and a form of resistance. Here, sensorial experiences and intuition are cherished, and there is no such thing as being too dramatic, too emotional, or too soft.

On Friday, Ainhoa Hernández Escudero, bewitched by pop and mainstream culture, reflects on the mystical impulses behind our obsession with information technology. Her performance, The Torch, the Key, and the Snake, is the first piece of a broader choreographic project called Blooming –The Saga. This artistic research delves into science fiction and dreams and their potential to produce and manifest alternative realities. Ainhoa uses the imagery of witches, bouffons and pop divas to rethink collective spiritual practices from a feminist perspective and invites us to be possessed by spirits and creatures.

Bathing in Resonance by Aaron Josi Sternbauer is a multisensory performance and music experience that explores the profound connection between movement, sound, voice, and community. Water and bathing are used as symbols and tools, intending to immerse the audience in states of dissonance, harmony, and connectedness, drawing parallels to the endless waves in water.

In Avantika Tibrewala’s Trashed My Title, a multidisciplinary dance and theatre performance, the artist questions the duality in perception around pop culture and its relationship with its consumers. The show challenges the audience to rethink their own consumption and the value they receive from trash culture and debunks the elite theories of high and low art. With glitter, glamour, and butt-shaking music, the show turns into a celebration with audiences dancing to their favourite queer anthems. Enjoy it and be energised by this not-so-guilty pleasure.

Daily schedule
Fri 28.06.

10.0013.00
Workshop Embodied Echoes by Aaron Josi Sternbauer & Crystal Wall

18.30
Meet & Greet / Supporting programme

19.30
Artist Talk hosted by Hyo Lee

20.45
Start performance programme including Ainhoa Hernández Escudero, Aaron Josi Sternbauer and Avantika Tibrewala

 

Festival Day 3
29.06.
TQW Studios

ECHOES OF ECSTASY: UNBOUND TONGUES by Markus Gebhardt and Beta M. Alexander is an aspic buffet that trips off the tongue and transcends taste norms. Indulge in a tantalising celebration of pleasure, queerness, and the liberating power of colourful choices. Not only will the long-remaining flavours provoke some collective tongue-in-cheek activism.

During the three festival days, Claire Lefèvre invites you to a radically soft space: a room to rest, take breaks between shows and flip through all her favourite books. Arrive early, grab a blanket, relax your jaw and let your shoulders drop. Works by textile artist Sophie Utikal hover in the room: they can be sensed, caressed, or used to hide behind. A gentle soundscape composed by Zosia Hołubowska cocoons your ears. Cuddle puddles encouraged but not mandatory. Sit down. Slow down. Melt down. This work is a pocket-sized version of Claire’s stage work FULL MELT DOWN, which explores radical softness as a choreographic practice and a form of resistance. Here, sensorial experiences and intuition are cherished, and there is no such thing as being too dramatic, too emotional, or too soft.

‘How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience?’ This question, phrased by adrienne maree brown, is explored by Nina Sandino’s Elsewhere, thus creating a manifesto for holistic resistance. In this space, rest, pleasure, and joy work as radical tools for personal and collective empowerment. An hommage to Afro-Indigenous queer futurism, acknowledging that traditional practices are not relegated to the past but remain a vital and powerful force to shape the present and future. A joyful rebellion for self-preservation!

Chantal by Veza Fernández is an avant-garde anatomic spectacle in which Chantal opens her body, engaging with the audience in her own unique activist way. Chantal is a manifold of figures: a living anatomy doll or a lesbian Venus growing from her songs of broken hearts. Chantal is an essayistic, visceral concert that radically redesigns the dispositive of the anatomical theatre and explores what the staging of the inside beyond norms and dominant regimes of attention could mean.

Ell and Mary have been dead for three years, but now they’ve come back to life (and the stage) with one question on their minds: how do you know when it’s the end? Inspired by zombies, heartbreak, and the humble cockroach, The Last Show Before We Die by Ell Potter and Mary Higgins is an existential cabaret about the big things in life. And death. ‘Made with cocky confidence and total abandon, this is a sweaty, heady, gut-wrench of a show… Vividly, viscerally alive.’ – The Guardian

Daily schedule
Sat 29.06.

10.0013.00
Workshop Embodied Echoes by Aaron Josi Sternbauer & Crystal Wall

18.30
Meet & Greet / Supporting programme

19.30
Artist Talk hosted by Hyo Lee

20.45
Start performance programme including Nina Sandino, Veza Fernández and Ell Potter & Mary Higgins

 
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