Thursday 19 October 2017
PERFORMING THE OCCULT: Magick, Rituals and the Monstrous in Live Art
@ Queen Mary University, London
Arts Two Lecture Theatre
18:30-20:30 (free entrance)

Can witchcraft overthrow patriarchy? Are zombies the incarnation of the queer sick body? Can occult practices offer strategies to counteract normativity and the ‘post-truth’ reality we live in?

Between the supernatural and teratological, this symposium opens up debate on how the magickal and the monstrous in live art offer perspectives on queer-feminist ethics, post-colonial resurgences and anti-capitalist resistance by embodying, displaying and practising the perspectives of outcast and monstrous ‘others’.

Presentations by FoxGlove, Ivan Monteiro, Mette Sterre, Martin O’Brien and keynote lecture by Professor of Continental Philosophy Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge). Moderated by Giulia Casalini and Diana Georgiou (co-directors at Arts Feminism Queer). #performingoccult

This symposium is part of the live art club night and multi-disciplinary exhibition DEEP TRASH in the Underworld, taking place on Saturday 21 October 2017 at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.


VIDEOS [click on each title to visualise]

  1. Introduction
  2. FoxGlove
  3. Ivan Monteiro
  4. Mette Sterre
  5. Martin O’Brien
  6. Patricia MacCormack
  7. Q&A






FoxGlove is a practicing witch, model, dancer, performer and Tarot Reader. He acts out occult rituals, science fiction, extraterrestrial life, political subversion, Jungian archetypes and psychology, cyborgs, posthumanism, nightmares. His primary influence lies in the liminal space between worlds, that silent void between one thought and another – where the in-breath stops and the out-breath starts.

FoxGlove has performed at various nightclubs, including The Egg and Torture Garden and has written articles for various magazines regarding the occult and paranormal phenomena. Together with Venom Black Widow, they produce C O V E N – a regular occult-themed live art night in London.

In his lecture, FoxGlove will discuss Sigil Magick and its inception, explaining how it has had a dramatic effect on the ways he thinks, works and plans his life.



Ivan Monteiro holds a BA in Multimedia and Performance Art (ZHDK, Zurich) and a BA in Social Communication (Anhembi Morumbi, São Paulo). Ivan’s practice intersects dance, music, and visual arts. They are a natural ‘shapeshifter’, re-imagining and re-conceptualizing femininity, gender, sexuality, social and race through (dis)identification. Ancestrality and spirituality are re-imagined through futuristic pieces where the artist participates as protagonist. Ivan also goes by the name ‘Tropikahl Pussy’, an alter-gender-bender ego, producing ‘draglesque’ and live music performances.

Their work has been presented in theatres, galleries, museums and festivals including Perla Mode (Zürich), Glo’Art (Lanaken), ODC Theatre (San Francisco), Gessnerallee (Zürich), The Museum of Image and Sound (São Paulo), Queer Biennial II (Los Angeles) and Zürich Moves (Zürich).

Ivan will be presenting an overview of their works, including: Malleus Maleficarum; Know Thyself… but not too much; Mother, The Verb; and their latest work, which will be presented at Deep Trash in the Underworld: Tituba from Taboao da Serra. 



Martin O’Brien is an artist and academic whose performance, video work and research draws upon his experience of suffering from cystic fibrosis. His work is concerned with physical endurance, disgust, long durations and pain-based practices in order to address a politics of the sick queer body and examine what it means to be born with a life-threatening disease – politically and philosophically.

He has performed throughout the UK, the US, Canada and Europe, both solo and in collaboration with the pioneering performance artist Sheree Rose. He was artist in residence at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives (Los Angeles, 2015). He has recently completed major commissions for Spill Festival of Performance (Ipswich, 2016) and DadaFest (Liverpool, 2016). This year the Live Art Development Agency will also publish his first monograph, reflecting on a decade of performance, and a documentary made about him by the filmmaker Suhail Ilyas. His own zombie film The Unwell (2017) and live performance works such as Taste of Flesh/Bite Me I’m Yours (2015), If It Were The Apocalypse I’d Eat You To Stay Alive (2015-2017), The Viewing (2016), and his current 30 screen video installation Until the Last Breath is Breathed… (2017) have used the zombie as an allegory to consider the politics of disease.

His presentation ‘The Zombie Years: Sickness, Infection, and Zombie Art’ considers relations between popular representations of disease through the figure of the zombie and its political potential. Martin’s own practice has focused in the last few years on the undead in relation to his own sick body and he will discuss the ways in which he has used representations of himself as a zombie.



Mette Sterre is an interdisciplinary Dutch artist and performance maker based in London and Rotterdam working with performance, sculpture, and fashion. Her work deals with the grotesque, the uncanny and paradox. In her meta-narratives, Sterre creates body-masks to accompany the characters brought to life through performance. Inspired by Fibonacci, the carnivalesque and the sociocultural history of horror movies, her current focus on the grotesque body examines the social construction of identity, power and normativity by blurring the boundaries between the inanimate and the animate, gender, object and subject. The body-masks function as contemporary mythological beings as well as autonomous sculptures which distort the human contour.

Sterre is currently an artist in residence at London College of Fashion Digital Learning Lab and a visiting practitioner at Central Saint Martins, where she previously completed an MA in Performance Design and Practice (2014). Among others, her work has been shown at: Kunsthal (Rotterdam, 2016), Glasgow International (Glasgow, 2016), Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (Prague, 2015), Migros Museum (Zurich, 2015), the Watermill Center (New York, 2015), Cue Art Foundation (New York, 2014), the Triennale Design Museum (Milan, 2014), Scope Art (Basel, 2013), Hermitage Museum (Amsterdam, 2013).

Sterre’s performative lecture is entitled ‘The haute-couture of non-human contour by Dr. Crystal Mette Sterre Frankenstein & the Fictions’. As a descendant of the great great granddaughter of Dokter Frankenstein, Dr. Crystal Mette Sterre Frankenstein has now been trained as a DIY plastic surgeon. With her aesthetical prosthetics, she enables her clientele to escape the supressing norms of current western society’s identity structures by creating ‘haute-couture for the non-human contour’. Some of her clients will also be present to showcase their new living physique and share their experiences of becoming non-human. During this lecture, she will discuss her personal motivation, associations and inspirations, as well as methodology and different work fields; from zombies to werewolf to chimeras and the age of Anthropocene.



Patricia MacCormack is Professor of Continental Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University. She is the author of Cinesexuality (2008) and Posthuman Ethics (2012), the editor of The Animal Catalyst: Toward Ahuman Theory (2014) and the co-editor of Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Cinema (2008) and Deleuze and the Animal (2017). MacCormack is also the co-founder of the occult-inspired club night Occulture in London.

MacCormack’s illustrated lecture ‘The Daemonic Mucosal’ will explore, via Irigaray and Deleuze and Guattari, the role of the vulvic fold, the mucosal and daemonic unions in chaos magick.


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 since 2017 she is on a year-long 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.

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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