Vorspiel 2019: Affect/Effect – Performance Prosthesis

Curated by Zander Porter (XenoEntities Network)

29.01.2019 5pm  - 9pm

Participating Artists:

Djibril Sall
Juan Pablo Cámara
Maciej Sado
Monilola Ilupeju
Natalie Abbott & Zander Porter
Sylv Myst (Zac Murphy)

A medieval metal arm prosthesis holding an early mobile phone, a photomontage kept in greytones..
Within the framework of Vorspiel 2019, the official preliminary program leading up to the Berlin Transmediale Festival, SomoS Art House hosts an evening of performance art curated by Zander Porter reflecting on the theme of technological tools as prosthetics; viewing them as enabling-devices for performance and for identity construction within the performative space.

Performance itself, a crucial part of creating and displaying identities, functions as an apparatus through which the dynamics of effect and affect become more than just forms of artistic expression: they surface as abstracted extensions, artificially connected body parts. The presented multi and interdisciplinary performances go beyond the physical, mobilizing both the invisible and the inanimate through their use of techniques and practices ranging from sound and sculpture to embodied irony and the digital space.

Affect/Effect: Prosthesis is an event invested in the de-and-re-construction of identities through the close investigation of performance and technology.

The performance apparatus enables effects and affects in liveness that reach beyond, and also expand from, the presence of the body in space. Allowing such an enablement to reach the quality of prosthesis evokes abstracted extension, like an artificially-connected body part. The “performance prostheses” posed by this multi- and interdisciplinary performance event for Vorspiel / transmediale 2019 express not necessarily the physical but also the inanimate and invisible performance apparatuses: sound (or the voice) and bodily-disconnected sculpture, but also embodied irony and digital space. The identity and disciplinary construction of the choreographer, dancer, or performance artist dissolves amongst the proposed works; a sense of spatial placement or physicality becomes a re-construed floating-feeling – an interconnected phantom limb. Mechanisms of the technological operate as both function and departure. Transitions between the presented works can be interpreted as offerings to visitors as social material for non-hierarchical and formally alternative presentations by the following artists.

Zander Porter, Curatorial Statement




Djibril Sall – at our funerals, we wear white

The blues and West African rituals converge for Djibril Sal’s performance of personal and literal cleansing.

Lately, I’ve built up an impressive collection of white, off-white, and cream. I open my suitcase and white stares back at me. White hats, white shirts, white pants, white shoes. I think about how I need to find a white jacket for the fall. Think about my off-white fur coat that I got for the winter. I work at a cheese shop in all white, walk to the subway in all white, do the dishes in white. I wipe soap spuds over white plates, wash them in warm water and make sure nothing sticks to my white. I walk into the shop and my boss says that I look like I am a part of a religious order in the bayous of Louisiana. Maybe I am mourning again or this is a ritual of forgetting. I throw myself into my work, become a ghost floating through a little shop in Park Slope. In my absentmindedness I cut my finger on the meat slicer but remember to wipe the blood on a piece of tissue and the grease on my apron. I am immaculate.

Djibril Sall, Artist’s Statement 

An assertive androgynous short-haired person of color in glamorous attire vigorously biting in a bright red object.Djibril Sall emigrated to Memphis, TN after spending the first five years of their life in Dakar, Senegal. Even after they started life in America, West Africa never left their household. The steaming spices of mafé, Islam, and their parents’ insistence that everyone speak Pulaar in the home ensured that they were strongly exposed to Senegalese sensibilities. However, being black in America has a way of complicating identities so that new, divergent cultures are formed in perpetually discordant rhythms. Through their work, Djibril hopes to complicate the idea of a singular narrative that is prescribed to the African diaspora.

Juan Pablo Cámara – ?latin0

Embodying a roving real-life avatar, ?latin0 crosses the boundaries of digital and physical. Combining the dance influence of techno with the Columbian style of Cumbia, ?latin0 is a hyper-mediated identity for the curious spectator/voyeur.
Audio: Moro, costume design: AvoidStreet.

?latin0 is a hyper-mediated identity that will come to being through its exposition to the curious spectator/ voyeur. The gallery/performance space/event become the IRL arena/scenario where this virtual being will have the chance to materially display its mannerism(s) around people, test its own sociality, explore the gap between what is programmed and what glitches. What exactly will happen cannot be expected.

Juan Pablo Cámara, Artist’s Statement 

Young male lying in bed photographing himself, peering skeptically into the camera while being filmed.Juan Pablo Cámara was born in Argentina, where he started his education in dance and theatre and worked as an actor and performer. In 2013 he moved to Amsterdam to study choreography at the SNDO (School for New Dance Development) from which he graduated in 2017. His work reflects upon the mediated relationships that we, humans, establish with our surroundings and among ourselves. He researches on functional and dysfunctional relationships between his body and other living or “non-living” bodies, creating spaces and possible narratives/identities that could problematize the ways that Language (as a human ontology) determines our experience and perception of reality.

Maciej Sado – Anydog cont.

Challenging the contract of ‘viewer’ and ‘performer’, the virtual and the real, artist Maciej Sado will utilize the social media platform Whatsapp as an audience-participatory medium for this installation and performance piece.

What if staring at the screen is not a useless action bringing lack of perception of reality but actually creates a portal, a leap towards a gap, a small spacetime possibility, a tiny fissure to experience reality augmented? Maybe you just need to focus on the horizon between two spaces: virtual and real, staring on the edge of your edgeless screen and watch the horizon extending towards palpable augmentation of what is and what possible is not. Body as the interface between the reality of the objects and virtuality of the presence. Heightening your sensibility to the spacetime of an object opens the possibility to enlarge the field of what’s happening. The body becomes a phenomenon entering the mesh of interconnectedness/intra-activity. Bodies, weather, lighting, climate change, recycled objects, WhatsApp, nostalgia, ooo, spacetime.

Maciej Sado, Artist’s Statement 

Mobile phone shot of dog descending staircase.Maciej Sado is a choreographer, performer, and dancer based in Berlin. He graduated in choreography at SNDO (School for New Dance Development) in Amsterdam, 2016, and in medicine at the Medical University in Wrocław, 2012. He is a member of Jacuzzi space in Amsterdam. In his work, he investigates concepts of the obliqueness – challenging the contract ‘viewer-performer’ – and questioning usual perspectives of entering the uncanny within normativities. He is fascinated by the notion of nothingness and its limitless (im)potentiality. He understands virtuality as an extension/augmentation of reality. He believes in ghosts, gaps, leaps, glitches, errors.

Monilola Ilupeju – Eat Your Calf

Through an improvisational and expressive performance, Monilola Ilupeju will explore the personal and the intimate. Incorporating narratives of sexuality and race, identity and vulnerability, ‘Eat Your Calf’ will bond artist and audience in a release of private thoughts and shared space.

I don’t want you to look at me; that is why we are in the dark. In darkness we are all vulnerable, opened. I don’t want the whites of your eyes or pupils on me, because you cannot see me with the lights on anyway. It’s not your fault, really. I see a spotlight now, yes, searching for me, finding me, and gradually getting brighter. I want to go there, but I’m afraid to be fully consumed. The song plays again and this time I sing along, and the room is bright now; everyone can see me singing this song, squirming, squinting, seeking, and they can see each other too. Something that was swollen and tender has punctured itself and begins to alleviate its pressure. After all, this cannot just be about darkness… needs to be about contrast. The light needs to return, otherwise what’s the point anyway.

Monilola Ilupeju, Artist’s Statement 

Artist Monilola Ilupeju gazing at the camera in front of a forest.Monilola Ilupeju is an artist and writer living and working in Berlin. She graduated from New York University in 2018 where she studied Studio Art and Social and Cultural Analysis, the latter of which focused on the intersections of race and cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, philosophy, sociology, and political science. She is also an alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Class of 2018. She views her interdisciplinary practice “as evidence and earnest pursuit… a way of coping, asking, and occasionally proposing something new.”

Natalie Abbott & Zander Porter – Untitled

Abbott and Zander Porter present an ‘untitled’ performance of “un”-related feelings: unfinished, undeveloped, uninvolved. The two employ tech-objects and effects of the computer-device/voice to engage with feelings of distance and detachment, sharing intimate details in a performative environment.

Natalie and Zander propose a performance untitled insofar as such conjures “un”-related feelings: unfinished, undeveloped, uninvolved. The two are interested in employing tech-objects and affects of the computer-device(-reading-voice) towards something that feels both like a distanced and detached sharing of intimate details as well as a performative experience. Performance props and devices are introduced and eliminated with seemingly slipshod quality. Queer relations to “production” and the “readymade performance” are drawn. The space-making performance proposes narrative as something not needing resolution but instead slower integration or a remapping of theatrical, narrative, and embodiment-oriented conventions.

Natalie Abbott & Zander Porter, Artist’s Statement 

Selfie pic of a young male and female making faces.Natalie Abbott is an Australian artist, performance maker, and choreographer based between Sydney, Melbourne, and Berlin. She is busy with excavating the fissures between what is real and un-real and pushing into the spectacle of the theatre to create absurd performance experiences for audiences. Her practice sits at the nexus of dance, performance, live cinema and visual spectacle, exploiting familiar formulas to interrogate form and challenge perception. She has collaborated with bodybuilders, sports stars, non-dancers, Marina Abramović, and her dad to generate an interesting physicality that creates extra-contemporary, visceral, and moving performance experiences.

Zander Porter is an artist, performer, and curator from Los Angeles. His/her/their/its moving image and liveness work develops from interest in social and collective vs. individuated identity- or persona-based investigation. Both social and (dis)embodiment researches focus on virtual and physical spaces of sexual and nonsexual roleplay, including online reality TV competition games, MMOGs, and (anonymous) (cam)sex, among others. Zander graduated with high honors in Art Studio from Wesleyan University in 2017 with additional attentions in Computer Science and Performance Studies and works in and outside of Berlin individually/collaboratively as well as part of XenoEntities Network.

Sylv Myst (Zac Murphy) – WATERWITCH – deathsnakegoddess

Where does the performance begin and the artist end? Has it already begun, or was it missed? WATERWITCH is an embodiment of love, death, rebirth, and violence, through religious symbolism and the swamp-waters of physical expression. WATERWITCH is a thinking dance “from the places we don’t like to swim around in, in our minds.”

WATERWITCH is the witchbitch of love, death, rebirth and violence. she is the queen of swampy waters; the places we don’t like to swim around in in our minds. WATERWITCH is the thinking dance. she wades through the swamp of her history unapologetically. she brings all of her personal baggage with her and she is dramatic. she prolongs transformation and denies the transgression of the threshold; living in the liminal for as long as she can. she fucks with this—she dances in the flame, she lives on the knife’s edge: she never said it was easy. she is violent. she knows you feel uneasy. she is deep water, yet her eyes are full of fire. she is dying. she is resurrecting. she is shedding her snake skin. she is creating her own mythology.

Zac Murphy/Sylv Myst, Artist’s Statement 

A young androgynous being floating in a lake.Zac Murphy/Sylv Myst is a dance-maker, performer, ex-actor and occasional poet currently based in Berlin. They studied classical theatre at George Brown Theatre School (Toronto, CA), and recently studied contemporary dance in the intensive program at Tanzfabrik (Berlin). Major influences for their artistic work come from varying sources: mythology, Butoh, clubbing, somatics, stomping, real life drama, and improvisation inspired by the imagination. Their interest in performance lies in creating neo-atavistic atmospheres to manifest and celebrate Shadow Goddess energy.

Vorspiel 2019:
Affect/Effect: Performance Prosthesis
January 29th 2019 – 6-9 PM

Curated by Zander Porter of XenoEntities Network

Djibril Sall, Juan Pablo Cámara, Maciej Sado, Monilola Ilupeju, Natalie Abbott & Zander Porter, Sylv Myst (Zac Murphy)

SomoS Art House – Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.OG, 10967 Berlin (U8 Schönleinstrasse)

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