Bursting Our Memories By Enchanting Desires
a long-durational interactive performance (4 hours)
the performance ends when all the „balloons“ have been bursted
concept, performance, costume and make-up:
Valerie Reding in collaboration with Ivy Monteiro
performed at the opening vernissage of the “Queer Biennial II: Yooth - Loss & Found” at the Industry Gallery in Los Angeles (USA) on 4/6/2016 curated by Marc Streit
The performance starts with both performers entering the gallery wearing full-body dresses made out of numerous black balloons, made out of condoms. During the entire night, the performers stroll through the crowd of people, each one of them trying to engage individual visitors in intimate conversations. If asked for their names, the performers simply explain that they could be anyone or even somebody the visitor knows. When they feel that the connection is strong enough, the artists ask them what or who could endanger this delicate relationship that is just emerging, starting with issues like jealousy, possessiveness, religious or political beliefs, cultural background or social status, pushing them slowly to the Aids epidemic and HIV.
The performers then explain, that their conversation partner could exorcise his or her feelings and memories related to the illness, by bursting as many “balloons” as they feel are necessary. To do so, the performers hand a syringe to their conversation partner. Then, in the next part of the ritual, the person can draw or write his or her thoughts and feelings with a black pen on the exposed skin of the performers’ bodies. The piece ends when the performers’ bodies are liberated from the „balloons“ and their skin is completely covered in black pencil writings and drawings, expressing the hopes, fears, doubts, anger, memories, and action plans of the gallery visitors.
„B.O.M.B.E.D. - Bursting Our Memories By Enchanting Desires“ is an attempt to free ourselves from the weight of hurtful memories and paralyzing fears through the creation of supporting communities, transcending this negative energy in a shared ritual.