The Walk Of Feminist Devil

Performance, film on DVCAM

This performance invited women to take a walk with the feminist devil and critically examine an introverted expansion. The walk builds a tray which reflects the physical language, points out an ensemble of conscious or unconscious moves made spontaneously but also necessarily. The human body as performing subject binds the political with the theatrical, unveils private and public spaces, transgresses race and gender, and might even be the medium to overcome the contradiction between art and life. In this uncomfortable walk the body passes from a series of automation as it is in this state. These automations are insulated in imperative keyword phrases. The narrator simulates a method of self-hypnosis and the body follows.

In capitalist neoliberal societies where, self-optimization has become an unquestioned ideal the emancipatory feminist project has led to barely more than adding female and queer work force to the labor market. Women are facing a twofold (or maybe more fold) burden of keeping up with so many contradictory completely internalized demands. Be good at everything. Be strong. Be feminine. Be emancipated. Be independent while oppressed. Strangely these endless demands seem to accumulate nowhere as forcefully as in the public space.  Why is this the case?  You might find the digital dream of the genderless cyborg society realized in some paths down the internet but you surely won’t in the streets of Athens.

There is a patriarchic distinction between public and private dimensions of human life, which corresponds to an distinction between reason, universality on the one hand and the body, affectivity, and desire on the other. Woman as being traditionally associated to the latter have been excluded from the public sphere for a long time and in fact they still are. You can often see it in the architecture of the city but mostly in the gazes and the behavior against woman and queer folks employed to control, exclude and suppress gender and sexual difference preserving traditional patriarchal and heterosexist power structures. Every person who ever felt vulnerable and totally reduced to their body by a glance knows this feeling. The tough look narrates the story of defense mechanisms many need in order to handle their anxiety in the public space. They take a walk with the feminist devil inside their heads. But it’s an ambiguous little creature. It claims to protect you from being harassed and to a certain degree it does, but it takes away all your faith and makes every glance and every touch of others hostile. It may take over and leave you stonehand and bitter.

Part of Athens Video Art Festival 2016