Stockholm #3: Stockholm Fringe Festival


Stockholm Fringe Festival 2011

While one of our artists flew to present his work, which has little relevance of being queer, in fact almost none, let’s look at productions that were bold. And we also learn about the reception towards nudity and entertainment in Stockholm.

First Love/Enough by Crook Art

The trio includes Jamie Noel Duddy, Ollie Vladimir Demianchik and Louise Hart from UK. They presented a performance inspired by Samuel Beckett, with the two girls completely nude. It was stopped by the police for their first performance, asked not to repeat it for their second and remained indoor for the next five or six performances.

It brought me to think about the reception towards nudity, even in a liberal city like Stockholm. The value of the flesh is constantly questioned and people are aware. One thing that strikes me too is that being with the group for almost about a week, and watching them performing, nudity becomes common. It is no longer a shocking statement or visual but merely an image. I think the public in Stockholm has come to terms of nudity being extremely offensive, etc and this is something that we in Asia, has yet to embrace. Of course everything has its boundary, and likewise, the performances were stopped shows that there are conservative attitudes within liberalism.

It was a pleasure to see the Crook Art performed their piece in public. Something which we can not do here today, but maybe in the future.

Check them out here.


And next we have Dorian Wood from Los Angeles with his work, Color From God-lung (Larkwat 1106). Wood performed this piece together with two female performers, in nude as well. The piece however, was performed within a room, hence the number of audience was limited. The nudity was not the main idea of the one hour long of opera-like performance, which I personally find extremely challenging and disturbing at some points too.

And maybe just to add on something that may not be relevant to the work, to see plus-sizes people in nude may not be comfortable. I remember a friend mentioning that fit and gym-sculpted physique is the ‘noticeable ones’ while the rest, invincible, to the extent that it is not acceptable. And looking into queer culture (in a country where being homosexual is homogenous), to be large and fat and nude, can be seen as offensive. I wonder, what would the reaction be, and also how did the audiences for Wood’s performance react to such strong visual of the flesh? For one I know, it will not be positive here.

Color From God-lung (Larkwat 1106) is one of my favourite work in the festival despite the constant question marks I have regarding the piece. But that does not concern much, as the visuals, including audio of course which summed up the experience for that one hour of torture (pun intended) is overwhelming. An experience which I have never felt before, an introduction for a new understanding. Thank you, Dorian!

More about him here.

There are more and more interesting works shown during the fringe festival. Many which I missed, but I personally respect the two works above. Thank you.

More about the festival here.

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