Taking place as a durational party-performance in the site of original “Eldorado” cabaret – today a gay fetish club – Babyhay appears as the spirit of queer Berlin's past and future in drag. From her bed in the darkroom cellar of Mutschmann's, Babyhay projects her image into the dense void of online space. Her content, aims, and identity are purposefully unclear, and yet, her only constant is that she ceaselessly looks back at us. She lives in a simulated world where everything appears to be comfortable, all is easy access, and with this laissez-faire attitude – the dreamland of the Internet – tries to create an atmosphere that lures and lulls us into hypnosis. She is only able to look at us because we are looking at her: the performance is broadcasted live onto Facebook and Instagram, two of the most widely used social media platforms. She attacks you from anywhere you may be, taking possession of your screen – is she cute or is she annoying, is this comfortable or is this uncanny? Who is she, no, what is she, is she even a “she”? The constant self-recording, self-exposing, the accumulating selfie-tyranny that pollutes all feeds, all streams, all lines of communication is made possible by the long duration of the performance as well as the use of multiple devices, from computers to smart phones to tablets. The event is open to the public on site, as well as viewable online, and will be accompanied by live DJ sets, drinks, and audience participation.
Mutschmanns: – legendary transvestite bar, and also the site of the gay disco Querelle and, before its transformation into Mutschmanns, Cafe Connection. The venue has been a gay establishment since 1926, a sign of the various times and attitudes that have come to shape nightlife and celebration cultures. Babyhay addresses this history but also performs the mutability of bodies as images on display, mediated by the Internet, smart phones, and social media.
António Onio (1989) studied dance at SNDO, School for New Dance Development, in Amsterdam. From 2011 António started developing his own works as well as works in collaboration with Miguel Pereira, Tian Rotteveel, Igor Dobricic, Diego Gil, Tiago Guedes and others. In 2013 he received the DanceWeb Scholarship in Vienna, Austria. Since 2010 the main focus of his artistic approach has concentrated on the fine barriers between the private and the personal as well as the body as a tool. His practice specifically engages with queer thematics, questioning roles of the self within western society, the persistence of homophobia and patriarchy, as well as relentlessly promoting vulnerability, softness and suppleness as weapons to fight the system that entraps us everyday so fast.
This event will be in English (no translation).
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist