Charting our 20-day residency period where we shed our feminine gender and attempt to step inside the guise of men.
Ok, so yeah I was honest. Brutally honest in my sum up the other day of how I feel now that I am away from the ecstatic embrace of our residency. Vacant, left wondering. Unable to focus too much on other projects as my mind keeps wandering back to what just happened. I haven’t had time to process any of it yet. What it means, what it says, whether we did what we said we were going to do. And also this one, resounding in my mind like a homing beacon – what does my sexuality have to do with this project? With my artwork? Why is it relevant? Is any of my art relevant? What am I doing? Argh! I look through my old blog entries on my website, ream after ream of self-analysis, self-discovery. What makes it art, instead of a narcissistic psychoanalysis of myself? Truthfully I don’t know. And I’m little concerned. I feel a need to search for meaning; I scour the works of others whose introspection is painted for all to see. I struggle to come to terms with something I have been doing for years. Is it now breaking point?
Sometimes I feel like a writer or a poet. Can that be the same as an artist? How do their roles differ? Am I a visual author? What is a visual author? My mind is swimming in questions that are begging for my answer.
Volcano & Buck scratch performance in studio
…continued from previous post
I loved the feel of the cock sock in my underwear, the way it would smell after a day of being close to my insides. I feel myself searching for another identity, another self-hood – is this a result of my breakup, breakdown? I reach down into myself, can I get beneath the sadness? – I trawl sites on butch and dapper lesbians, how do I wear my queerness in a way that will make girls want to kiss me? Is having short hair enough? My eyes linger on every girl, I smile and I hold their eye contact, I’ve become confused about which ones I even desire anymore, will anyone do? I feel like a teenage boy desperate for that first taste of flesh. I walk the streets in fear of seeing him again, I play out conversations in my head – ‘you look horrible’ he would say, as he surveyed my boyish hair, and my tom-boy clothes with a little pang of hurt and ‘I knew it’ shooting through his broken heart – now I am wearing too much on the outside. Let’s reel it back in. I wear my skirt, with diaphanous net, with my faux converse and my grey hoodie. Safe, they remind me of that lap dancers breasts, and the net of perfume that she spun all around me.
I’ve always taken pleasure in wearing clothes, in forming a style that is mine. Teaming plaid with polka dots, and electric blue leopard print. Juxtapose. And now perhaps it’s time for gender to bend around my form, my style is too playful to stay too long in the comfort of these jeans and grey shirt. When we inhabited our characters I always found I gravitated toward these feminine men, I found it impossible to perform a clear masculinity, it was always caught up in the delicacy of my hips, and the rosebud nipple of my hairy tongue. The Detective character and the other one, who just appeared in a glance of the mirror as I took off my Detective jacket and loosened my hair sit comfortably between my fantasies of masculinity. I described The Detective as a woman, masquerading as man in drag or a woman masquerading as a man dressed as a woman. He exists almost of an echo of a familiar dynamic, amidst my confusion of gender roles and sexualities, which I never fully understood until now. He is me, and yet he is not me. He looks into my eyes as I bow down to pleasure him, stirring up that beast of desire, until I unleash a hidden monster whose only wish is to consume me. ‘Who will love me now?’ We utter as his jaws collapse in mine.
I’m back home, the residency is over, yet today, and the days before that I reached for those jeans and hoodie, slipping on boxer shorts. I ignored all my pretty dresses with their delicate frills. I know for most people wearing jeans does not necessarily make you masculine, many women wear jeans and t-shirts. But before this residency I never wore trousers, not ever, only dresses or skirts. Super femme. So maybe this adds to the extra layer of manliness I feel whenever I wear these clothes, I’m just not used to it. I look around me, browsing internet computer screens and think about the difference between femininity and masculinity. What is it about the way we wear clothes that gives us a gendered look? There is a certain way to wear these clothes that signifies a sense of queerness I realise. I feel a bit in-between, almost like that teenager again, unsure of who I am or what I am supposed to represent. I used to love my hyper-femininity, so why do I not want to wear it? We wear clothes as a way to communicate about who we are, and right now I feel that I have been broken in two, or maybe severed into pieces, it’s better without the binary divide. I have to admit that this desire to cling to these tom-boy clothes surprises me, it surprises my friends too –‘I would have thought you’d be rushing back to embrace your femininity’ they say, a little inflection at the rear of their voice. But I like their identity; dyke, queer. There is a kind of legitimacy in these clothes, one that I felt could not exist before them. A legitimacy that speaks of my desire, instead of coyly hiding within it. My old friend said that it was weird seeing me in these clothes, and that hair, she said that I looked ‘so lesbian’. A gleeful smile lighted up my face, ‘really?’ I beamed. I looked around the queer bar we were in and smiled more at the passing girls, and spread my legs a little further outwards to regain manly composure. ‘Would you really want to be with a girl?’ She asked. ‘I think you want to, but I don’t think you are really a lesbian, you like boys too much’. And I’m back to the start. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. I remember as a teenager cupping the phone in my hands and whispering to my mum that I thought I was gay, I had a boyfriend at the time. She asked me why I thought that, and after I had told her about the few kisses I’d had, she said something about all girls going through this phase and that was that. I felt a bit foolish. My friend who I’d kissed told me that I was probably straight and then she fucked my boyfriend.
…continued on next post
…continued from previous post
Is Adam much of a dancer? Will you take me out dressed as your mother’s ex lover? Weren’t you supposed to be a guy 24/7? Did you labor, cause men labor, do you have a prostate, no, I have no clue what happens in my ass or my guts– I just discovered my urethra 5 years ago, I didn’t cum when masturbating till I was 23 etc.
I guess Adam will be what I make of him. The same with Volcano who has a best mate and that actually makes him more happy and alive than any other character. The same with The Painter who is the filthiest of all and still to be discovered why that is.
I d love to write about the body that doesn’t exist and what I d like to do with it and what I do with it. About each and every of my cocks: the silicon ones, the sock, my fingers, my long cunt lips and my big clit, the one that is really a ghost and which I frequently use to penetrate with and what happens when I do, to me and to the real pussies that tell me where to go. I d love to say what my prostate feels like, maybe I can do that.
Adam is ‘me’, the painter is someone else, volcano is an act. Of course I know that all these performances are of myself but these are different ways of exploring the ‘me-ness’ of me and of me/art. I think that exploring identity and non-identity both personally and as an artist mixes super well with my own sense of male-gender as a temple of silent creative agency.
Desire. He. Now we talking. So Jens and I were and are full of that. We have certain circumstances circling our present – I guess, how do you talk about perversion without saying the word? Free to go wild, whatever that means, explore sex and identity through sex and desire. How do I fuck as a man how do I fuck as a woman. How do I look, how do I flirt, how do I stand, how do I rest, how do I fall in love, how do I fall into oblivion?
Anyway, I left the residency, we left Amsterdam and the 20 days of doing just this for the first time, finished. We took night buses and went to the airport and Jens left few hours before me. I was beyond tired and sleepy and waited for hours for my gate number to appear. I went out to smoke two or three times and the last time the sun was rising and I was listening to music like I usually do and I had then a really nice moment between me and the world. And so now I am thinking about excess and exhaustion, in a positive and inspired way.
There are a set of projects we are planning and our exchange feels pretty endless at this stage.