Golden Gate questions our normative perceptions of loss and mourning. What is queer grief and in what way can it become a collective movement of melancholy and resistance? Drawing from vanitas, baroque aesthetics around transience and death, the work attempts to make space for gestures, voices and erotics of mourning in today´s pandemic reality.
For a long time now, collective mourning and its rituals have been disappearing from public space making loss a private experience of each individual. As history, eg. AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, has shown us, some deaths are more grievable than others. Given the lack of representation of death in epidemics, pandemics and suicide, Golden Gate attempts to create space for assisting loss in a queer utopia. If in earlier genres such as Ars Moriendi the function of art was to educate about death, what rituals can we imagine today to collectively process the experience of grief?
The performers Ania Nowak and Frédéric Gies create a queer representation of companionship through losing and letting go. They rehearse each other’s deaths and use this morbid play not only to confront systems of injury aimed at queer and other minorities in the past and today, but mainly to develop tactics of care and repair other than the top down tools of control over bodies masquerading as healing strategies.
How to endure this endless moment collectively? Is playing dead really the only strategy for the less privileged bodies to stay alive? Are we ready to rest in peace but also in power and joy while we’re still alive?
Idea, choreography, performance Ania Nowak
Choreography, performance Frédéric Gies
Dramaturgy Siegmar Zacharias
Sound design Justyna Stasiowska
Light design Aleksandr Prowaliński
Video Janne Ebel
Sculptures Pakui Hardware
Costumes Grzegorz Matląg/Wsiura
Production Micaela Kühn Jara, Magda Garlinska
Audio description Silja Korn, Xenia Taniko
Production Ania Nowak in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE
Funded by Berlin Capital Cultural Fund
With the support of Q21 MuseumsQuartier, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius and Milvus Artistic Research Center
Photos Dorothea Tuch