“The queer artists at this year’s DLAF use performance to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and the continuing struggle for equal rights.”
The theme for this year’s Dublin Live ART Festival (DLAF) is ‘Come Together’, and it will concentrate on what unites us, the commonalities we share and performance as protest.
“The LGBT+ community has always used performance and alternative forms of protest to raise awareness about queer issues in the struggle for equality,” says festival founder and curator, Níamh Murphy. “From the first Stonewall riot when drag queens fought back against police brutality, sacrificing their anonymity at a time when being openly queer meant backlash and ostracisation, the LGBT+ community has always used imaginative ways to put their heads above the parapet.”
Amongst the LGBT+ artists putting their heads above the parapet at this year’s DLAF is London-based artist, Gareth Cutter, who who fuses performance, sound and writing into hybrid works that investigate the politics of health, identity, queer sexuality, and their relationship to the male body. His latest show, Load, is an exploration of penetration in gay sex and its relationship to ideas of masculinity. Using autobiographical story-telling, it presents a tale of queer sexuality that’s both unnervingly alien and comfortingly familiar. Tickets for Load on Friday, August 18 at 6pm are available here.
Martin O’Brien’s performance work draws upon his experience of suffering from cystic fibrosis to address the politics of the sick queer body and examine what it means to be born with a life threatening disease, politically and philosophically. His show, It’s Good to Breathe In (This Dublin Air), takes as a starting point the etymology of the name Dublin, which means dark tidal pool. The performance uses this image alongside Martin’s own condition and the history of his family coming from the city in order to develop actions which consider survival and the fight for breath. Tickets for It’s Good to Breathe In (This Dublin Air) on Saturday, August 19 at 8pm are available here.
In Hard C*ck from dancer and artist, Robert Hesp, a man dances in the space, a blur of rosy tissue and liquid mass sliding over shifting ground, scanning for signs of joy and reconnection. Hesp’s work explores ideas of sexual autonomy, identity and fragility and an attempt to rediscover the pleasure of skin and bone in a nuanced presentation of gender and queerness. Tickets for Hard C*ck on Sunday, August 20 at 7.30pm are available here.
According to curator, Murphy, “While Pride may have lost it’s element of risk, groups like Gays against Guns in the States continue to lead the vanguard in inventive forms of protest and resistance in the 21st century. The queer artists at this year’s DLAF use performance to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and the continuing struggle for equal rights.”
The Dublin Live ART Festival 2017 runs from August 17 to 20, find out more here.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.