I want to make a piece about gender. I have been brewing it for two years.
It began in a field at Glastonbury Festival. Each day I was invited to construct a character to be part of an improvised performance on a mock TV Set. And without fail every day I was drawn to the shortest dresses, the highest heels, the longest wigs the fakest boobs, and all of the make up. I wanted to perform a femininity that until this point I have eschewed, rejected and judged. Someone said, ‘you look like a drag queen’.
And I thought that much like;
high payed employment opportunities
and chances for social mobility
Drag was something that was not on offer to me as a woman…but when have I ever listened to what I can or can’t do?
I spent most of my teenage years rejecting the highly sexualised femininity I saw presented in the media by a patriarchal heteronormative capitalist society. I presented in a way that attempted to reject and oppose structures which sought to make my body a socio-economic sexual commodity.
And I have always wanted to be a Drag Queen…
So I am about to begin the Research and Development for a performance about ‘Hyper Fem’ a term I happened across in Peggy Phelan’s ‘Unmarked’. It refers to the performance of exaggerated sexual aggressive powerful femininity by drag queens in the documentary ‘Paris is Burning’ shot by Jennie Livingson.
Drag, when it is done well, is a political, satirical performance that plays with gender performativity, fluidity and sex. The Drag Queen performs aspects of femininity that allow her to steal off into the night, escaping political constructs of the patriarchy and slipping out of the confines of the male gaze. It seems to me that the patriarchy own and manipulates hyper-femeninity on female bodies for socio economic gain within a capitalist system. I am interested in using my body as the site of the performance of ‘Hyper Fem’ and to attempt to challenging or subvert the scripts generally written for the female body in a performance.
If you are interested in working on, or supporting this work in any way please contact Viki on email@example.com