Compagnietheater, Grote Zaal
Xenia is a subjective metaphorical tale inspired by a momentum and rumour around the life and oeuvre of artist Zubrowka. Views on gender, sexuality and individual power of the artist and icon crossroads each other, creating a climatric state-of-art affair. This collaborative project including performance art, documentary, music and costumes retells the long existent texture of Amsterdam’s queer scene.
For this piece, performance artist Xenia Perek (ft. Arthur Guilleminot) creates five dramatis personae, seamlessly navigating their physical and mental repertoire. The play is characterized by a dynamic approach to music, affective and rhetorical text and unique movements. Like the celebrated icon, Xenia Perek’s artistry primarily evolved from the nightlife’s stage. Views on gender, sexuality and individual power of the artist and icon crossroads each other, creating a climatric state-of-art affair.
Parts of the documentary „Just Call Me a Woman” are screened anterior to the performance. The documentary features artists, dj’s, producers and nightlife creators related to Zu, broadcasting the icon herself. This work fetches testimonials of the vital 80’s and 90’s Amsterdam nightlife art production, forging the viewer into Zu’s genesis.
The aim of the project
This collaborative project serves the purpose to honor people while they are still among us. To retell the bits and pieces of a long existent texture of Amsterdam’s Queer scene, with pit-stops between the historical and the present. It is a chance to origin a work in an un-expected and valuable trans-generational constellation, coming from a place of a factual Amsterdam’s merit.
The performance can be defined as empowering, androgynous, aspirational, immediate and fierce. It grants overlooked subject-matters of LGBTQ movement, psychic material, health and body-relation as a lifeblood necessary for bliss and emotional prosperity. The event is a quest to entrust basic human rights to be.
Artistic principles and contextualization
Back in the 80’s, the infamous club RoXY opens its doors hosting a boiling Amsterdam’s avant garde disco scene. Zu Xenia Lucrezia is a muse, an artist, a performer who returns to the city after being freed from Greek’s jail and gains her position of an unbeatable nightlife icon.
The title of the piece traces back to antiquity. Xenia, is a concept of Greek origin about hospitality and exchange of material and non-material benefits, which foregrounds the performance research and the piece itself. Yet, reading of Xenia juxtaposes and builds itself on the presence of a stranger, Xenos, whose embracing and welcoming gestures are concerned. This notion infuses the physicality and mental material of the above mentioned five characters of the piece.
Xenia Perek creates physical and mental scores located in nocturnal venues and nightlife. The sensorial imagery is for her the content and means of narration. Thus her shows are body-builded from momentums which can be seen separately, if not even as a photograph.
She surrounds herself by explicit stories, dreams, live situations, physical states, which she terms as dynamic instinctual material. Perek looks for a phenomenon of lust for life, love or its sad or brutal missing, equally important death drive. A non-dual psychoanalytical theory of libido is a central locus of her practice. She renders it through the use of symbols, non-logopedic discourse, non-symmetric logic, and motorics. Perek’s characters are creating various un/effectiveness and energy in the socio-economical world they been placed at as a quest for negotiations on how we live.
This performance is co-produced with Vertoon.
The documentary „Just Call Me a Woman” is made by Celluloid Doc_, directed by Isabelle Ho-Kang-You (Vertoon) and filmed by Ashley Kruishaar.
Artist-Designer Arthur Guilleminot created the wearables.
Music Composer Abel Kroon developed sound for the piece.