feature: “Ane Lan” – video by Ane Lan
The selection of “gender identity” is the result of a specific comptetion which formed the basis for Cologne OFF I – 1st edition of Cologne Online Festival and was launched also on occasion of its opening in April 2006. Curated by Agricola de Cologne, the selection features follwing artists—->
Curated by Agricola de Cologne, see detailled info—>
Eleanor Gates Stuart (Australia) – Knit
Andrew Johnson (USA) – Black and White
Elisabeth Smolarz (Germany) – You and Me
Sonja Vuk (Croatia) – Cosmo Club
Beatrice Allegranti (UK) – In My Body
Nadja Solari (Switzerland) – Untitled 1
Arzu Ozkal Telhan (Turkey) – Entitled
Catherine Renaud Baret (France) – Gender
Joao Paulo Simoes (Portugal) – Take.This.Turn
Elia Alba (Domincan Rep.) – If I were a…
Jacqueline Then (Singapore) – Secret Obsession (Whispering Candles)
Alla Girik and Oksana Shatalova (Kazakhstan) – Warning! Women
Ina Loitzl (Austria) – Snow-white and red like a rose
Irène Tétaz (France) – Il Nue (the nude)
Unnur A. Einarsdottir (Iceland) – Toilet
Eileen Bonner (UK) – I Thou
Risk Hazekamp (the Netherlands) – Gay King
Rahel Maher (Australia) – Misstar
Dafne Boggeri (Italy) – I have lost my…..
Steven Dixon (Sweden) – The Invisible Girl
Ane Lan (Norway) – Ane Lan
Razvan Ion (Romania) – Naked.Mask | Episode 1
Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – House of tomorrow
Joey Hateley (UK) – A: Gender
Michael Brynntrup (Germany) – TV-X-perm. (Being Queer As A Commissioned Work)
Sinasi Günes (Turkey) – Androgen
J.G. Periot + Tom de Pekin (France) – Devil Inside
Reuben Preston (UK) – 25 pairs of shoes and a man
Fred Koenig (France) – The Vodoo Diva’s International
Eleanor Gates Stuart (Australia)
Title: Knit, 2005
Duration: 9 minutes 4 seconds
Eleanor Gates-Stuart’s video, Knit (2006), is a gruelingly frustrating depiction of human condition. Her video works are described as – distinguished psychological mindscapes, claustrophobic and compulsively escapeless.
Andrew Johnson (USA)
Title: Black and White, 4:30
Elisabeth Smolarz (Germany)
You and Me
2003, Video installation, 3 min
A couple. The woman slowly transforms into the man and vice versa. The video visualises a relationship between two people., The installation is a metaphor for how human beings interact with one another; the creation of our identities.
Sonja Vuk (Croatia)
Title: Cosmo Club
year of production 2004
This art work deals with typical problems of life adjustment in transitional Croatia.
Split between temptations of consumerism, media influence and real financial and political situation in the country leads to contradictions on everyday basis in common people’s lives.
This problem is serious but sometimes offers comic moments as a defence against general absurdity and helplessness.
One of such examples is processing the text from Cosmopolitan.
The basic idea of this project is inspired by certain «Guide through fantasies», published in Cosmopolitan magazine in January,2004 which promisses «momentary pleasure» by following instructions for sexlife refreshment.
Superior author of the text tries to help by clear role division (Who are you?,Who is he?,
What he says?,What you say?,What do you do?,How everything ends?).
He/she thinks that helps to those who are not creative and fearless enough even for dealing with general questions in politics, economy etc. so how they can be capable of finding mature solutions of own sexsual frustrations? Or the other way around? Those who are not creative enough for their own imaginative intimate life, are they capable enough for independant dealing with socially important questions?
However, Cosmopolitan is here to help with instant recepes so life can be more alike cliche lives of heroines and heroes from soaps where they are always rich, beautiful, sexy and they get the best and the most of the life.
Beatrice Allegranti (UK)
Title: IN MY BODY, video 2005, 4 min
is a site-specific autobiographical solo film which explores the sensations and emotions of a woman in the nascent stages of re- constructing her identity following the death of her mother.
Nadja Solari (Switzerland)
Title: Untitled 1, videoloop, 2003, 6 min
This video was made with manually manipulated slide-projections. The slides picture people in circumscribed spaces (the shadow under a tree and the rectangular lighted space of an empty shop window). In the beginning of the video, the female and the male bodies are clearly seperated, they stand next to each other. In the second half of the video, the pictures of male and female bodies superimpose each other, identity and gender becomes unidentifiable. Through the frontal portraiture, the pictured polyvalent person becomes a counterpart of the spectator, like he/she’d look into a mirror. This mirroring activates a reflection about his/herself’s gender identity.
The confrontation and superimposition of the two bodies/genders comes along with a confrontation of an indoor and an outdoor space. In the combination of the two superimposed bodies one can see a third, ambiguous body. In the combination of the two types of rooms, a third type comes to live – between outside an inside, between showing and hiding. The ambiguity of inside-outside is amplified by the fact that the indoor space originally pictured is an empty shopping window, a space made for showing things, a indoor space made for a view from the outside. The person indoor is showing him/herself while the person outdoor seems to hide under the tree
Arzu Ozkal Telhan (Turkey)
Title: Entitled, video installation, 2003, 3:34
In collaboration with: Insoon Ha and Peiyun Lee
A naked newborn baby is not considered wrong or bad. A naked two year old
On the beach is generally considered normal and innocuous. At what age child
considered as a human and trained with the set of social practices, disciplinized and socialized?
“Activities such as walking, experiencing shame (experiencing gender), stigmatization, eating, and dressing, are the daily rituals through which the child attends and trains the body. The body is a powerful symbolic form, a surface on which the central rules, hierarchies, and even metaphysical
commitments of culture are inscribed (sewed).” _Foucault
Catherine Renaud Baret (France)
Title: Gender, video short version, 2005
The biological clock ticks, she is urged by her hormones and society to dedicate the prime of her youth to procreation. She has to relinquish her inner self, her hold over life, quit her job, abandon actions, loose her identity, to sink into the mother’s loneliness and boredom. She waits for an improbable husband, lover, companion. In front of an empty windows she waits for herself to come back while her sound space is crammed with baby’s cry. Until finally, when the children are gone, she can eventually join back the human group and its deeds in the common home, through a lit up window..
Joao Paulo Simoes (Portugal)
Title: Take.This.Turn, 2005
In which three musical interludes are combined to form a three-part Video Illustration about the nature of identity in an abstract, sci-fi context.
Elia Alba (Domincan Republic)
Title: If I were a…
In collaboration with Nicolás Dumit Estévez
DVD; 4:30 min.
This video refers to the Banana Dance performed by Josephine Baker in Paris in 1926. The word “jaba” is a negative informal expression from the Dominican Republic that is the equivalent to the term “high yellow” used here in the United States, meaning a very light skinned black person. In this video, the performance artist Nicolás Dumit Estévez wears a skirt similar to the one worn by Josephine Baker in her dance and the mask is that of my face. However, instead of bananas, the skirt is made up of miniature doll heads of various ethnic races. By re-enacting this performance, I wanted to make reference to this historical act, which was about white Parisian culture consuming the acts of a black female body, but in presenting a man in the guise of Josephine Baker, I wanted to reconsider the original narrative of the Banana Dance, which eroticized the black, female body and the consummation of such.
Jacqueline Then (Singapore)
Title: Secret Obsession (Whispering Candles)
2005, The film unfolds with an unsettling view of a side gate and noises. Amidst residential activities in the dark evening, something is being done in secret by someone in school pinafore. Something ritualistic is carried out in the dim lights of candles, in the shape of apples and a heart design. The symbolic broken seashells, the dolls, the heartshape on the candle, the wax apples, the crimson palette of the interior setting, photographs and text in a school magazine, the eventual focus on a smiling girl in a school photograph taken in a group for memorable purposes, develops into a scene of nostalgic obsession, all in the hands of the mysterious figure in her school uniform. The “trespass” sign towards the end of the film gives a feeling of suspense or warning against intervention of what has been seen by the viewer. The interior scene is supposed to uncover the tragic issues of feminity, even among and in between people supposedly carrying the same identity—female.
Alla Girik and Oksana Shatalova (Kazakhstan)
Title: Warning! Women
year of production : 2005, duration: 3 min. 12 sec
In non-modernized patriarchal societies (they are still the majority of humanity) the role of cultural organizing force, “intellect” and “consciousness” is traditionally given to male.
A woman symbolizes the power of the Unconscious, intuition, chaos. It’s a kind of some impersonal force. She is dangerous like the nature (= threat of disaster).
The trilogy “Warning: Woman!” is a Rabelaisian illustration for ideas on woman as a “corporal bottom”. It’s an ironic illustration of feminophobia; an illustration of archaic myth (about “vagina dentata”). Woman here is represented as a brutal (though funny) monster that always can deprive a
male of his phallic regalia.
Ina Loitzl (Austria)
Title: Snow-white and red like a rose
Trick animation video with sound / 5’ / 2005
Regularly “SNOW – WHITE” becomes “ROSE – RED”
Takes of her clean appearance
Goes wild, blooming and pulsating
To return again into white silence
This metamorphosis colours the red juice blue
Blood can not be denied
Womens’ tears clean their “unsanitary mons veneris”
Marias’ concentration on her body fluids
Made her think of a simple analogy
With the blood of her own son!
Which sanguine is now allowed to be drunk,
which blood is worth to be shed?
Oh, don’t wish for a woman with no abdomen!
Could she serve better with a missing genital?
Clean, safe, marias’ mouth can only swear….
The critical days are “my days”
Activity can be gained with injections or pills
The end is the absence of menorrhoea
But this hide – and – seek can take revenge
With bouts of the vagina
Because tampons can only stop, plug and tame
The juice floating with relish
The power and fury should not be forgotten
The life in all its red coloured nuances.
It’s a beautiful part of you and me……
Irène Tétaz (France)
Title: Il Nue (the nude), 2006
The ambiguity between male and female
« Il nue » est une vidéo qui se joue sur une ambiguïté homme-femme (d’où son titre).
Une peau, une peau avec poil….homme.
Une poitrine, mais poilue….homme ? femme ?
Une poitrine, qui petit à petit est nettoyée par du lait, qui, devient seins….le lait, symbole par excellence de la femme, mais de la pureté aussi ?
Une femme doit –elle être pure ?
Les seins, signe de la maternité, certes, mais aussi de l’envie, de la sexualité…..
« il nue » se propose comme un voyage sur ces questions.
Unnur A. Einarsdottir (Iceland)
Title: Toilet (2005),
A woman, dressed in a pink night dress and high heels, is licking a toilet seat covered with whipped cream and candy, with sexual intensity.
EILEEN BONNER (UK)
work title: I THOU
The dichotomy between boundaries and merging. The invisibility of myself alone becomes the ambiguity of us together: we are plain sight and yet unseen.
Risk Hazekamp (the Netherlands)
Title: Gay King
model: Mariëlle, duration: 3 min., year: 2005
“I try to re-formulate the question about ‘gender’ again and again through the use of images. For me there’s not one conclusion possible. It is much more interesting to stay surprised and to take that surprise as a starting point, in stead of trying to make a definition.
This film is an encounter between two (drag)kings and they happen to be gay. The film is also a little tribute to the most brilliant scene in Patricia Rozema’s “I’ve heard the mermaids singing”, where Polly tries to look around the edge of the monitor.”
Rahel Maher (Australia)
Year of Production: 2002, Length: 2 minutes, Format: Digital Video
In its simplest form, Misstar is film about a woman who dresses up as a man. This process appears to entirely change her identity but this film presents the question: what is her real identity? Perhaps people have many gender identities and it is about exploring ways to express them. MIsstar is a short documentary exploring personal identity and one person’s experiment with her own.
This film involves two characters: Lee and Misstar (Lee’s drag persona). Misstar has many characters but this film presents just one of them: Johnny Gash. On many Friday nights Lee performs as a singing man in a Drag King shows. It’s entertaining for the people who go to watch; often amusing, sometimes confronting. But for Lee it is about exploring and fulfilling an identity that she feels doesn’t always breathe easily in her life daily life. Dressing up in drag allows her to find expression for a personal urge that materialises as both a committed performer and a convincing male personality.
This film presents the relationship between Lee and Misstar as a transition in gender identity. It traces Lee’s process of dressing up as Johnny Gash and the actual preparation for performing in drag that night. So, we watch her dressing up physically and psyching up mentally to leave the private persona Lee for a while and become publicly recognisable Johnny Gash.
Lee’s insightful descriptions of her identity offer a great commentary to the visual representation of the physical process of transition. We catch a glimpse of the dreams and the tradition that motivated and inspired Lee to create Misstar. And ultimately we observe Lee revel in who she is and what she does.
Dafne Boggeri (Italy)
Title: I have lost my…..
In search of the lost object/lost subject…
Steven Dixon (Sweden)
Title: The Invisible Girl, 2004
Interview about the lesbian identity of a young girl
Ane Lan (Norway)
Title: Ane Lan, video
The video and performance work conceived by Norwegian artist Ane Lan is based on living portraits, short performances that interpret the domestic and personal condition of History; the interior life of common men that, being out of proportion with the universal dimension, rests in painful resignation. The setting, alternately pop, naïf, ordinary, or looking like a doll-house, is only apparently ironic. The harsh contrast of colours signifies the extraneousness which Ane Lan stages by means of transvestitism. Her docile characters create portraits of silence, of extraneousness, of incongruity, but also of an icy political verdict. Innocence veined in melancholy is intended as a conscious return to a childish perception of the world.
Razvan Ion (Romania)
Title: Naked.Mask | Episode 1, video installation, color, sound, 2’40”
The mask have been used to conceal the character’s identity or, more precisely, to hide his face. But, did these men in fact really wear a mask?
The mask is identical for all characters. This changes the view of looking at a person. It is like a layer. We have to edit a mask if we want to work with it. The mask fits in with all the identity crises and the extent to which the aesthetic is part of our identity. Mask to impersonate someone else. Mask of dual existence. Mask error factor. It may be noticed that the mask used as a form of prophalaxis in a toxic environment also serves to prevent a contagion (transference) between the analyst and analysant. But this is the value of a developed “personna” (personality mask) and was used in Greek theatre and most primitive ritual dromena to prevent a collective catharsis (panic) and virtual riot from occurring during performance. In other words, there is better prudence for establishing order by masking chaos rather than attempting to control it.
Wouldn’t the cure be to produce a collective catharsis, rather than to mask the violence and “prevent a collective catharsis”?
Role of masking is a metaphor for both disguise and liberation in the otherwise rigid and controlled nature of society. The liberating role of the mask is at once playful, mysterious, and sometimes sinister.
Joey Hateley (UK)
Title: A: Gender, video excerpt from a DVD performance
A bold new performance, A:Gender delves deep into one of the last remaining taboos in our society. Boys can be girls. Girls can be boys. Men can be women. Women can be men. Or can they?
‘When I don’t fit ‘man’ and I don’t fit ‘woman’, it’s like all these holes start appearing…’
Conceived by the Manchester based queer performance artist, Joey Hateley, A:Gender takes a long, hard, and sometimes uncomfortable, look at our notions of gender. A:Gender daringly mixes up drag/queer photography, videography, performance poetry, academia and science to rip up our notions of gender and start again.
Michael Brynntrup (Germany)
Title: TV-X-perm. (Being Queer As A Commissioned Work)
My Gay Self-Portrait For Arte TV.
Being queer as a commissioned work.
Elastic Reality™ as program.
Sinasi Günes (Turkey)
Work title: ANDROGEN, video 2004
This video art work shows transforming of a man and woman’s role each other.
Jean-Gabriel Périot + Tom de Pékin
Title : Devil Inside, 2004
revolutions, queer & Rock’n Roll
Reuben James Preston (UK)
Title: 25 pairs of shoes and a man, 2006, 3:16
In this piece the viewer is taken inside the world of the artist
‘s footwear collection. Often women are mocked for their huge array of shoes and handbags and here we see for a few moments the collection of footwear belonging to the artist. Here we see that the definition of the artists selfhood is understood to be encaupsulated in the materiality of the shoes.
Each shoe suggesting different elements to the sexuality of the artist. The shoes are symbols of sexuality each suggesting different qualities and dimensions to the owner and each purchased to reflect these facets. With intermittent strides both forward and backwards the viewer is bidden to ponder the nature of the sexual identity of the artist: is he coming out or receeding back into the closet. With the background of the every famous drag queens’ anthem of ‘I am what I am’ we are drawn into understanding that the shoes are symbols of the sexual dimensions to the artists persona ever
changing and ever complex, but still desiring to stand proud and string in
the midst of all the uncertainty.
Fred Koenig (France)
Title: The Vodoo Diva’s International
Playing with Gender, Love, Hope and a keen Desire to find where they
Belong, in a style that can only be described as falling between
Contemporary Conceptual High Art and Total Trash. These two
Internationally famous performance artists hope to do nothing more at
Playtime, than astound their audiences and live up to their reputation
with a special new creation made in Jo’burg inspired by the beauty of the
purple Jakaranda trees, titled :
The Voodoo Diva’s On the Barbecue
‘freedom’s just an other word for nothing left to lose’ -Janis Joplin “I
only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain”- Prince
Agricola de Cologne (Germany)
Title: House of Tomorrow, 2005, 3:00
The house of tomorrow is the house of one’s identity, it does not need to be a concrete house or building, but represents a secure and protected place where people can stand for what they are and represent, a human being. And this human may have many identities in different fields, the sexual identity represents only one among many others.