LIVE ART CLUB
everything reminds me of you
My Carnal Daisy
Ellie McLoughlin Mejia
Cha�£ m£ ch4ze me
On the Power of the Skirt
Fluttering like a delicate moth around my ankles, the beige skirt is gaily drawing her first spring breaths.
On a sunny stroll to the local supermarket, its whispered caress inebriates my legs, tickling them with joy and mortality.
While I have been in full sight of my own self for the entirety of this lockdown, the e t e r n i t y of my life, it is only when its romantic touch grazes me that I feel like myself again.
And I am feeling m y s e l f.
Like a prosthetic appendix to my embodiment, the beige skirt makes me who I am.
(perhaps) i s who I am.
An outer layer that augments my reality. It makes it palpable.
I AM NOW SEEN
I question why an external consumable semiotic - a piece of clothing - holds the power to bestow upon myself my sense of self
Have I just become the commodity of my own personhood?
But, while I relish the sight of this hologram projection that comforts and validates me,
those around it descend into
A stain of contempt blurs their eyes as they scan over and through me.
I keep following my route, comforted by the warmth of the spring sun and the knowledge that two metres must now run between me and my next stranger lover
Their disapproving gaze lingers on, castrated from the possibility of a physical escalation. SUBLIMATED
At first, I feel a sort of exhibitionist thrill - the paradoxical validation that comes from public rejection - as their ominous reaction highlights and confirms my
o t h e r n e s s
But as I now fix my eyes deeper into theirs, as to stare into an abyss or obsidian mirror, I am able to trace in their haunting look the trajectory of our shared o p p r e s s i o n
— I can’t say I had the promptness to turn my proud, hardened jaw - protruding in defence
- into an acknowledging smile.
So there I remain,
b r e a t h i n g in the bitter vapour
of a missed opportunity for mutual care.
On the Power of the Skirt
Failures and Successes in Distance Interactions
On a given date, A and B travel to an agreed location, arriving separately at 3pm. The area is a public place, large enough for them to explore, without necessarily seeing one another. They each carry a sign with a single word on it, together forming a two-word phrase. They move around freely, following no set route. If either of them sees the other, they may observe for a short time, but must avoid being seen themselves. Should their eyes ever meet by accident, A and B immediately turn around and run away as fast as they can, terminating the performance. Otherwise the performance ends at 3.45pm.
Soft Play (Iris Colomb & Paul Ingram)
@scabsarerats (Twitter) & @iriscolomb (instagram)
Bringing Out the Dead Within
It's all fiction. Not a prose poem about the lockdown.
May we consider how our lives have changed drastically over the past three months. May we consider what stayed the same. May we honour the deaths, and the pain, this virus has caused. May we feel overwhelmed by the instability of our futures, the insecurity of our presents. May we be allowed a moment to feel for the disruption to our routines, our work, our communities, our freedoms, ourselves. May we feel low, distressed, anxious. May we feel exhausted, our brain foggy, our bodies adapted to sedentarism. May we feel slow, depressed, apathetic. May we feel small. May we feel crushed by the interconnectedness of the world. May we feel hyperaware of our breath, of the lethal potential of our saliva, of the microbioweapons it's droplets have become. May we feel low, distressed, anxious. May we feel slow, depressed, apathetic. May we take some time to process. May we respect the rhythm of our processing; but may we remember this 'new normal' has been 'normal' for a while now. May we be aware that this 'new normal' follows the patterns of the old. May we recognise what patterns those are. May we analyse who our essential workers are, who has no home, who is in prison and in detention centres, who is in camps, stuck in the perpetual violence of national borders, who's been disproportionatelly dying from COVID-19. May we remember it's not just COVID-19 that continues to kill them. May we remember for how long this has been a fixed and merciless targetting. May we remember who already wasn't breathing before a respiratory-based pandemic hit us; how long for they weren't breathing before that was reclaimed as an empowering chant.
May we stop using lockdown as an excuse, may we stop using the coronavirus as an excuse, may we stop using anything we can get hold off as an excuse, as a scapegoat, as a way to not engage with the role we play in this. May we stop the singling of 'Karen' when white women have many names and many substancial, silent and open, racist views and behaviours; and may we not forget the white men, may we not forget the white enbies. May we not use our queerness as if a shield that erases our skin colour, that erases the violent hegemony of our familiar, national, continental and global culture. May we rid ourselves of all excuses for our ingenuity, our unawareness, our silence. May we admit our complacency, may we admit our contribution, may we admit our comfort. May we be real about the benefits, the power and the privilege afforded by whiteness. May we be honest about liking it. May we be honest about holding on to it. May we be honest about not having let go, despite how slippery it has become with half a millenium of blood in our hands. May we call it by its name: Colonialism. May we call it by its name: Racism. May we call it by its name: White Supremacy.
May we take a moment to feel the cyclicality.
May we acknowledge the gravity and the imminent danger to African-Americans in the US, but may we not forget British-Caribbean and the wider Black and Brown community in Britain, may we not forget wider communities of colour across Europe, may we not forget indigenous populations across North America, Australia and New Zealand, may we not forget Brazil, refugees outside fortress Europe's borders, may we never ever forget the Global South. May we support Minnesota but may we remember Ferguson, may we remember Baltimore, may we remember Oakland, may we remember the sixties across all states. May we remember Brixton and Hackney in London, may we remember Birmingham, may we remember Bradford, Oldham, Burnley, Stoke-on-Trent and Windsor; may we remember the Cronulla riots in Sidney; may we get out of English hegemonic discourse and remember Corsica, remember Dresden, remember Florence, Lampedusa, Bari and Milan; may we remember Madrid, Almería and Salou; may we remember Calais. May we call it by its name: White Supremacy. May we call it by its name: Racism. May we call it by its name: Colonialism. May we remember Morocco, Libya, the Fulani Empire, Swaziland, the Ashanti Confederacy, Burundi, Benin, Bunyoro, Dahomey, Oubangui-Chari, Ijebu, Bechuanaland, Merina, Egypt, Zululand; may we remember the Fente Confederacy, Basutoland and Comoros; may we remember Zanzibar, Rwanda and Algeria. May we remember Palestine. May we honour the histories our culture has destroyed forever. May we honour the families it has separated, the tribes, nations, communities it has obliterated. May we honour the women it has assaulted, the babies born from these violated mothers. May we honour the Diaspora communities trying to make sense of a past, of a history, of an existence that's been erased, they don't remember, don't have access to, no longer exists.
May we stop believing the problem is in the US, that the problem is in England, that the problem is somewhere over there, far from us, in some place we can't recognise or don't empathise with. May we stop just blaming others and may we assume ourselves. May we place our behaviours, thoughts and actions in check and may we put our bodies on the line. May we stop convincing ourselves that art is enough, or a revolution at all. May we burn more police stations. May we burn parliaments. May we crush colonial monuments. May we deconstruct museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas; may we shift their focus, their preoccupations, their loyalties. May we shift our focus, our preoccupations, our loyalties; may we deconstruct all we were raised with, taught by, taken for granted. May we unlearn. May we do the work. May we educate ourselves. May we educate our parents. May we educate our grandparents. May we punish our racist uncle. May we punish our racist selves. May we not raise hands but clench fists. May we not lament but retaliate. May we stop this silence. May we stop this fragility. May we do a 90 degree shift in this targetted-violence. May we stop this death. May we stop this cycle. May we revolt. May we riot and riot and riot and riot.
and we may never ever ever ever ever Rest In Peace, but maybe we won't Rot In Pain for the centuries we permitted this to continue.
with love, anger & always in solidarity,
SEE YOU NEXT MONTH x