Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li
KISS ME, SO I AM QUEER Artistic Statement
Queer, regarded as a genre of identity, has long been a mirror reflecting the imposition of ideology/stereotype upon which. It is phantasmic, deviating from the real. Queer, the existence of the deviation, is somehow stereotyped, confined by the hegemonic heteronormativity that immutates queer into the genre of identity. Performativity of queer in reflection of its “identity” as perceived today is opaque from realizing the true itself. It is one end of a scale where heteronormativity is located the opposite, polarizing the sexuality. Certain performativity tends to practice the stereotype/ideology so as to confirm its negation against the sexual hegemony, whereas relapses into the binarism so as to maintain the balance of both ends. Queer is simply strategically hidden by its quasi-identity and pseudo-performativity that Muñoz claims “we are not yet queer.” That how one becomes queer, and the fluidity of queerness are simply disregarded, or further, forgotten. Performativity henceforth totalizes queerness as an institution of pseudo-identity in its forgery along with its incompleteness, instead of an idiosyncratic one. This project performance, Kiss Me, so I am Queer, thus aims to manifest how certain ideology/stereotype is coined and further is imposed on queer identity. Afterwards, the collective pseudo-idiosyncrasies will be denied by performing how the queer becomes. The objective of the performance is to practice and reassert my queerness, and also to raise/deny the queer potential of the others who are involved in the project, and finally to suggest the essence of queerness.
The performance is divided into three parts. It undergoes the process of abject and contingent contact in order. In the first part, a short film dictating the queer body will be looping for the audiences for better understanding how queer is perceived and who I am as a queer. With the looping film, the performer sits/stands as a mannequin with his head covered by a paper bag, indicating the one’s dysfunctional sensibility, which coheres with the idea of the origin of stereotype/ideology. Afterwards, the performer’s quotidian life is displayed. In the second part, the performer dressed in white encourages audiences to mark their ideas about queer and perceptions of the performer as a queer on his clothes. The performer then enacts whatever is on his clothes. It represents how the stereotype/ideology constructs a queer body which actually manifests its pseudo-identity. Following that, in the third part, what is aimed to argue as the objective of this project is that queer identity is actually constructed by the self sexual desire within the queer body. The desire is manifested by requiring audience (specifically male) to kiss the performer. The performer’s queer identity as well as the engagers’ are reasserted/denied by practicing the such queer intimacy. Further, the clothes on the performer, which symbolizes as the pseudo-identity, will be cut into pieces with scissors. The performer at last ideally shows his naked body indicating his primal state of queerness that there is nothing embedded but his sexual desire. Queerness, if not constructed by disorienting self, appears to be the performativity itself. This project practices queer performativity as the manifestation of the process of becoming queer with the kiss between Dionysus and Pentheus embodying their queerness in Dionysus in 69. For the moment of kissing, queerness is the naked body cruising in the utopian amniotic fluid, jettisoning identity, the name, and the expectation.The performativity can only occur with interactions involved. Resonating with Halperin that “where [homosexuality] it and how it is” to constitute queer relationally, Chashama’s storefront window makes the engagement possible, and simultaneously, with its semi-publicity reinforces the concept of the confinement and the demarcation of the queer world which resonates Muñoz’s idea, the inevitable revelation of the existence of a queer world.