March 22, 2005

Let's take the role at The Kitchen

Curated by LTTR editors K8 Hardy, Ulrike Müller, Emily Roysdon, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and Lanka Tattersall

Ulrike Müller, One of Us (Freakish Moments)
Megan Palaima, can today
Marriage, Video Opera
Jack Waters, Peter Cramer, danceTube, and Queer Fist, Eat @ The Kitchen
Nao Bustamante, Let Me
Emily Roysdon, social movement

Bringing together a vibrant community of feminist, queer, and genderqueer artists, writers, activists, and cultural producers, the editors of the journal LTTR present an evening of new performances. For this event, a group of critically engaged artists use movement, sound, video and interruption to queer the performance space and shape new strategies of theatricality.
Pioneering performance artist Nao Bustamante denigrates the icon of the hero. Chicago-based duo Marriage ritualistically terrorizes, retreats to and resurfaces from a planet where each of them is rendered an apparition. Ulrike Müller's text provokes the breakdown of the listener's body through an encounter with normative social behaviors. Megan Palaima transgresses the traditional role of spectatorship through movement. Participants in Emily Roysdon's video simultaneously create and perform the stage, in a document of presence and a monument of persistence. Jack Waters and Peter Cramer, in collaboration with danceTube and Queer Fist, disrupt with a theatrical intervention.

open letter (from program/poster)

this is an open letter to the activist queer feminist community and supporters that have come to this event. this is for us, exploring new strategies for performance and theatricality together. the theater is a space for fluctuating identities, non-linear time, entertainment, gestures, and signs. in this sense, the theatrical space is no different from everyday life. and yet… there are tickets, lighting, seating, bathroom lines, intermission, program notes, video, and sound -- an elaborate apparatus that signals that we are in a space of spectacle. how can we make this new space ours? how do we say thank you while still being critical? how can we turn this evening into a protest and a celebration? instead of annihilating the fourth wall, and the boundaries between performers and spectators, can we take those borders and that wall and build something better with them?

LTTR is an acronym, a shifting code that resists fixed definition. today it can be translated as the declaration “let’s take the role,” which we can use as a rallying shout: let’s take the role of actors! activists! let’s take the role of spectators and participants! let’s take the role of feminists and never give it up! let’s take a gender role! let’s fuck that gender and take another one! let’s take the role of power! let’s take the role in a new language! let’s take the role of the genius and the trash and the ghost! let’s take! let’s give!

lanka tattersall, lttr
The Kitchen, New York