This work is comprised of a series of statements regarding
- representation, re-cognition (and faux illusion) within the black-box theatre context
- the artist talk
- queer shame and celebration
- Dominant/submissive power dynamics
- energy, whispering and woo woo
Features gay music by Dudley Benson, Divine, MY OH!, Eves, Mica Levi, Die Antwoord & CocoRosie
Presented in SEP ARATE, a double-bill dance event produced by Lydia Zanetti
November 2014, Basement Theatre, Auckland.
Concept: val smith
Development and Performance: val smith and Tru Paraha
Photos: Peter Jennings
FYFM by Val Smith continued to pull apart concepts of gender identity through further penetration into the other via a post-human world of sense and affect. Described as a conversation that unravels the concept of the ‘hetero-dance duet', the somatic embodiment of performing body, gender (less) and power dymanics between two ‘Mam-malls' or ‘Ani-Wo-min' meant this piece lived up to its name FUCK YOU FUCK ME exploring notions of gender and intimacy.
The performers are enfolding, enveloping multiple concepts within the materiality of bodies, hair, synthetic, fluff and tinsel, shaking gyrating as we respond uncomfortably with laughter. An extended arm creates distance between them perhaps suggesting the distance between visual imagery and the act of sensation. The increasing intensity also refers to power and manipulation. Performers stop at times realizing we are there, noticing the unusual.Christina Houghton, Theatreview, 15 November 2014
Fuck me Fuck you offers us a fluid and multitudinous interpretation of the male/female roles with plenty of room for thoughts to wander through and around the images which morph from beautiful, to titillating before dragging out almost to the point of apathy. They're exhausted, we're desensitized, no-one is quite satisfied. It is a beautiful indictment of humanity's incessant search for completion.
Throughout this piece there is a lack of artifice, which becomes jarringly funny when set against the excess of the costuming, props and actions of the performers. It is perhaps this quality that makes the premise so eminently relatable, even as our expectations are thoroughly messed with.