Love, Pain & Intimacy in Live Art
@ Queen Mary University, London
Thursday 8 February 2018
Arts Two Lecture Theatre
18:30-20:30 (free entrance)

What drives artists to extreme performances, blood-shedding or endurance work? What traces are left on both the performer and the participant during one-to-one encounters? What kind of intimacy is created when sexualities are performed in public?

Drawing from the pains and pleasures of subversive parenting, sexual/asexual encounters, tattoo and skin-based practices and Black dance communities, artists and writers discuss the affective relations involved in live art practices.

Love, Pain & Intimacy in Live Art - poster

Poster Image: Rachael Young, OUT © Paul Blakemore, 2017

Presentations by Ivan Lupi, Rachael Young, Emie // Eva-Marie Elg as E-ME 2.0, Nicola Hunter and keynote lecture by Dominic Johnson (Reader in Performance and Visual Culture, Queen Mary University of London). Moderated by Giulia Casalini and Diana Georgiou (co-directors at Arts Feminism Queer). #performingromance

The event will be followed by a drink reception.

This symposium is part of the live art club night and multi-disciplinary exhibition DEEP TRASH Romance, taking place on Saturday 10 February 2018 at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The programme is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/344849552648625/ 

[Download the Programme Brochure]


Venue Information

Queen Mary University of London

Arts Two Lecture Theatre

Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS


General Information & Press

CUNTemporary Press: press@cuntemporary.org

Deep Trash: https://www.facebook.com/DeepTrashClub


Deep Trash

During a time when public and private spaces are narrowing their ability to accommodate the concerns and lives of non-normative and non-binary subjects, events such as Deep Trash are crucial in bringing together a community of people interested in the themes of sexuality, gender, creativity and politics, with an intersectional and transnational approach.


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Dominic Johnson

We are all familiar with pain, from that of the minor twinge to devastating injury or illness, to emotional pain. Yet we struggle to articulate the particularity of our hurt. Making an object of one’s pain has been a frequent project for historical and contemporary art, from paintings depicting great duress, to performances that harness self-injury as a formal technique. In the lecture It Hurts: Art, Performance and Pain, Johnson discusses a range of works in art and performance and asks how artists deal with — and actively perform — the constitutive manner in which pain evades representation and communication.

Dominic Johnson is Reader in Performance and Visual Culture and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Drama, at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Glorious Catastrophe: Jack Smith, Performance and Visual Culture (2012); Theatre & the Visual (2012); and The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art (2015). He is the editor of five books, including most recently Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey (2013); and (with Deirdre Heddon) It’s All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells (2016). A new monograph, Unlimited Action: The Performance of Extremity in the 1970s is forthcoming from Manchester University Press in 2018. From 2005 to 2012, his performances (solo and often in collaboration with Ron Athey) were shown around the world, including at festivals of performance and live art in Copenhagen, Ljubljana, Rome, Toronto, Vienna, Zagreb, and elsewhere, and throughout the United Kingdom, including at Fierce, Spill, Sacred, National Review of Live Art, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and Torture Garden, in galleries, museums and clubs  — and at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of ‘Gay Icons’. He is a Board Director at the Live Art Development Agency in London.


Emie // Eva-Marie Elg as E-ME 2.0

>> A performative lecture about the artist’s work A Sexual Series, performed by the artist’s alter ego, the sex doll cyborg E-ME 2.0 – product ID: “Authentic Swedish, made in Japan and packaged in Greece”.

A Sexual Series is a sex positive asexual’s perspective on our contemporary sexual culture.

A Sexual Series is inspired by posthumanist theory and gender studies.

A Sexual Series works with contradictions as a premise to find greater understandings of human and posthuman thinking.

A Sexual Series explores the queer identity asexuality with the intent to raise awareness of the sexual construction of teenagers from both liberal and conservative environments and offer alternative ways of thinking about desire and attraction. <<

Emie // Eva-Marie Elg’s work on sexuality and identity is inspired by posthumanist theory and gender studies. She experiments with alternative methods for exhibiting visual art and particularly explores participation and subjectivity in her artistry. Coming from a background in film and video art, Emie has in recent years started exploring the field of performance art, transgressing various art disciplines. Emie’s stylised, political work is influenced by her alternative journey in DIY arts, avant-garde clubbing and queer activism. Her video M-E: A Video Selfie from 2015 is distributed by FilmForm. A Sexual Series is still in development, but extracts have already been showcased at Athens Museum of Queer Arts (Athens), Flux Factory in New York for Utopia School (New York), 3331 Arts Chiyoda art gallery & Strawberry Fields Club (Tokyo) as well as at Malmö Queer Film Festival and Erotikafton at Inkonst (Malmö).

Web: http://www.happyendingsproductions.co.uk


Ivan Lupi 

In his presentation Becoming Wounds, Lupi approaches the art of self-tattooing as a revealing practice. Discussing his work An Open Wound, Lupi explores the influence of myths on intimacy and pain as active devices of love. The artist offers his take on how questioning these notions generates an urge to act. As the skin plays a crucial role in hosting wounds, it is in this sense, that a ‘body without organs’ can emerge from these marked sites.

Ivan Lupi holds an MA in Queer Studies in Arts and Culture from Birmingham University and since 2001 has been an active member of the collective Amae. He has taken part in various collaborations and exhibitions in China, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania and United Kingdom. Most recent events include: The Voice and the Lens at Whitechapel Art Gallery (London 2014), The Slip of the tongue at Palazzo Grassi Punta della Dogana (Venice 2015), Transformations by LiVEART.US at Queens Museum (New York 2016), Experimenting with a wunderkammer of Vanitas at MACT/CACT Contemporary Art Ticino (Bellinzona 2016), MAKING SPACE at CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art (Christchurch 2017), Visualeyez at Latitude 53 (Edmonton 2017).

Web: http://ivanlupi.com


Nicola Hunter

Reflecting on works past and present at the doorstep of change and subversion, Hunter will talk about her new work Motherfucker, the second piece in a Trilogy of works which began with Lost Bodies. Motherfucker critiques patriarchal value systems in western culture, particularly the influence they exert on single parents/main carers. How can subversive parenting defy these dominant models and construct new role models for their children?

Artist and activist Nicola Hunter was born in North East England (UK). They have been performing and showing work nationally and internationally for over a decade and have seen international success as founder of the intersectional feminist project Raising the Skirt. Hunter continues to develop a queer-feminist artistic practice that is rooted in action-based performance and extends across live work, documentation of its products and traces, and the re-presentation of these in other forms. Hunter has shown work in In Between Time Festival (Bristol), City of Women (Ljubljana) and SPILL Festival (Ipswich) and has successfully completed their first tour across the UK with Lost Bodies (Tempting Failure CIC, Live Art Bistro, Colchester Arts Centre, Norwich Arts Centre, The Island, Artsadmin and the Marlborough Theatre). Hunter has collaborated with Predrag Pajdic, Manuel Vason (Double Exposures) and Ernst Fischer and they have been awarded the Artsadmin Bursary, the Artists International Development Fund and have been supported and mentored by Unlimited, Live Art Development Agency and Pacitti Company.

Web: https://www.nicolahunter.com


Rachael Young

‘Lots of what I do with my work is about making space for women and People of Colour to be heard, without being marginalised or fetishized.  I want to rise above those who would threaten or demonise us, who would brand us as aggressive when we speak our truths. I want the space for those truths to exist in all their complexity and the space for audiences to reflect on their own fragility or prejudice, so that new understandings can emerge.’

Rachael’s recent performance OUT, saw her work primarily with movement for the first time, drawing on Dancehall and Vogue to explore Black queer experiences. Rachael (an untrained dancer) created the work with dance artist Dwayne Antony and now performs it alongside choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe. The work revolves around a relentless physical score, reflecting the personal and political struggles faced by many queer People of Colour in the UK and beyond. At the centre is a desire to reclaim Black queer bodies and show them as they are in all their strength, beauty and resilience; to accept the challenges of being a daughter, a son, a disappointment, a community outcast and celebrate the immense creativity, defiance and love present within the Black queer experience. With reference to OUT and other recent works, Rachael will reflect on her ambition to create a space for alternative narratives and forms to evolve and be heard, considering the challenges that come with making and presenting work that calls out the sexist, classist, homophobic and racist structures at the centre of our society.

Rachael Young is an award-winning artist working across theatre, live art and socially engaged projects. Playful, collaborative and interdisciplinary, her practice responds to autobiographical experiences and socio-political landscapes, often connecting with communities that are under-represented in the arts. Young’s most recent show OUT received critical acclaim throughout 2017, winning the South East Dance ‘A Space to Dance’ Brighton Fringe Award and gaining a nomination for the ‘Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance’ at Edinburgh Fringe. Young’s full length shows The Way I Wear My Hair, I, Myself & Me and OUT, have all successfully toured the UK and her interactive installation Crowns of Confidence was recently at Women of the World Festival 2017 (Southbank Centre). Her work has been shown at ImPulsTanz (Vienna International Dance Festival), IBT, The Yard Theatre, Live Art Bistro, Tate Modern, Contact, mac, Curve, BAC, Buzzcut, New Art Exchange, Derby Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Little Wolf Parade, Oxford Playhouse, The Marlborough Theatre and The Lowry. Throughout 2015 Young was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow at mac Birmingham. She is now a ‘Breakthrough Artist’ at Curve (Leicester), part of The Lowry’s 2017/18 ‘Developed with’ programme and a recipient of the 2018 Compass Commission (from Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban), which will help support further exploration into movement and choreography whilst making her new performance piece: NIGHTCLUBBING.

Web: http://www.rachaelyoung.net


Giulia Casalini is an independent curator and producer based in London. She is the co-director of the queer-feminist arts organization CUNTemporary, as well as the founder of Archivio Queer Italia, the first platform for queer arts, theory and activism in Italy. She has been nominated Live Art Associate UK for her on-going commitment to showcasing performance art, and in 2017 she was awarded a producer residency at the Live Art Development Agency.

Diana Georgiou is the co-director of CUNTemporary, organizing events, screenings and exhibitions at the intersections of feminism and queer both in London and abroad. Her doctoral research in the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths University of London focuses on the relationship between auto/biographical art-writing and feminist discourses on subjectivity.


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