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Beyond carrying the torch of pleasure activism, the social role of queer parties has been to hold a place of togetherness, conviviality and mutual aid for queer, trans and BIPOC communities. They have been a place for resilience, regeneration and resistance. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, the dancing has stopped (for the most part) and people have been pushed into domestic isolation surrounded by a heightened sense of anxiety and emotional distress. With no certain resolution to the current clubbing crisis in sight, we are faced with a gap in the (social) role these spaces once served.
The format curated by Pedro Marum for Tanztage Berlin will take a closer look at the resilience of queer dance culture, highlighting initiatives that were birthed from the necessity to keep the restorative and transformative power of the dance alive in safer ways. The conversation with invited guests will be followed by an invitation to participate in a listening session from the series Infinity Rug.
INFINITY RUG proposes to create a platform where sound, collective learning and intimate care come together to forge a space of togetherness within queer, trans and BIPOC communities during the period of the pandemic. The rug invites us to take off our shoes and enter a domestic, familiar and intimate space. The rugs, provided or brought by the participants, delimitate a space that suggests the comfort and intimacy of home, a place for resting, loving, grieving, playing, meditating, sleeping. Their portability allows us to bring the domestic space into the public and to weave them with other rugs, creating a wider surface, an intertwined network of safety pods that can accommodate sanitary and hygienic demands while still forging hypothetically infinite connections with our rugs. Closeness across distance. Domesticity in public.
The series Infinity Rug was initiated during the quarantine in the form of small home listening gatherings, weaving various elements of ambient and deep mind music, spoken word, field recordings, ASMR, somatic and sonic healing, textiles and textures, scents, performance and moving image. For each event, invited artists are challenged to use various elements to orchestrate a regenerative environment for all those participating.
If you are planning to host a listening pod make sure the rugs are clean and have at least a 1.5m radius to accommodate one or two persons, or bigger if accommodating larger groups of the same household. Ventilate the space regularly.
Pedro Marum is as an artist, curator, writer and DJ based in Berlin whose practice and research focuses on queer rave culture and its implication on social and urban politics, collective care practices and harm reduction, digital privacy, feminist hacktivism and technoliteracy. Marum is a founding member of XenoEntities Network, collective doing artistic and curatorial research on queer, gender and feminist studies and their interactions with digital technologies. In Lisbon, Marum is a co-founder and resident of the queer rave collective mina, and co-curates suspension, a music label and series of events exploring fringe communities and sounds. Marum was the initiator of the cultural association Rabbit Hole, an artistic platform working with performance and visual artists since 2011. Marum has presented their work, curated programs and participated in talks internationally under the invite of museums, film festivals, galleries and universities. As a DJ, Marum blends fast paced hard rave, techno and trance influences with deep, ambient and alien soundscapes. Marum has studied in Lisbon in the field of healthcare and women’s sexual health, and later studied media art in a co-joint master’s program across universities in Austria, Denmark and Poland. www.pedromarum.com
Maria Francesca Scaroni (IT/DE) is a dance artist, living in Berlin since 2004. She crossbreeds somatic practices and speculative interests with witchcraft, healing, performance and choreography. She hosts workshops re-purposing post modern dance legacies towards technologies for mutual empowerment. Maria performs in Meg Stuart’s works, with whom she collaborates since 2009. Since 2016 she is a member of the queer collective LECKEN in Berlin.
Heather Purcell is a visual artist and illustrator whose practice draws from rave culture, pop imagery and grassroots socio-political movements to create video work, comics and live drawing performances. They live and work in Berlin. Their latest research has investigated 1970’s education within urban spaces, such as Spielclub and the New Games Movement, developing an urban role play game and exploring the challenges of gentrification in Berlin Kreuzberg. The project was exhibited in the Neue Gesellschaft Für Bildende Kunst in 2019/2020.
Wanda Vastri (Gaimes) is a freelance lecturer, writer and weaver of communities whose interests span socialist theory and praxis, radical feminisms, queer liberation and underground culture-making. She has published work in various social studies journals, like New Left Review and Theory & Event, and her book Volunteer Tourism in the Global South: Giving Back in Neoliberal Times appeared with Routledge in 2015. Since co-founding the queer-feminist club culture collective Lecken in 2016, she has been contributing to various productions on stage at HAU, Sophiensæle, the German Tanzkongress, Whole: United Queer Festival and online.
Curation Pedro Marum GUESTS Maria F. Scaroni, Heather Purcell, Wanda Gaimes, Roozbeh Tazhibi DJ SETS marum, ĀBNAMĀ
The 30th edition of Tanztage Berlin is a production of SOPHIENSÆLE. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. With the friendly support of Tanzfabrik Berlin e.V., Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte and Förderband e.V./Berliner Spielplan Audiodeskription. Media partner: taz. die tageszeitung