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Queer Shamanic Potential
Shamanic potential meets queer futurity in a dancing body. If the past was colonised and the future is queer, should we occupy the present or disappear in absence?
Dance training meets ritual practice in a queered body. If contemporary subjectivity is a loser's game, what are the potentials for magical inspiration and psychic intelligence?
In this laboratory, Queer is a perspective or political tool as well as an impossible utopia (José Muñoz, "Cruising Utopia"). If it is an identity, let's consider it a failed identity, an attempt at anti-identity, an already empty or stolen identity. And let's consider Shamanism as a magical technology of the future emerging from experimental bodily practices, rather than from religious or cultural orthodoxy and new age (white) fantasies of nostalgia and appropriation. The focus of our work-play-life will be on Potential, the future, the unknown.
Scores and tactics will include:
• Embodied invocation of queer ancestors.
• Critical reading of everything at once.
• Ritualised play with gender, sexuality, and representation (outside our understanding).
• Practising death, dying, and funeral (influenced by AIDS, Buddhism and child's play).
• Healing that betrays the border between fake and real.
• Citations of living and dead alchemists, witches, shit eaters, and hermits (Jack Smith, Kiki Smith, Patti Smith, Schneeman, Essex Hemphill, Mary Beth Edelson, Joseph Beuys, James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Starhawk, AA Bronson, AL Steiner & AK Burns, Jerome Caja, Kate Bornstein...)
Suggested reading-research-discussion: two books by José Muñoz, "Disidentifications" (1999) and "Cruising Utopia" (2009). There are probably no good books on shamanism, either universal or particular, but I don’t know because my learning of ritual-energy-magic has occurred in rituals, rehearsals, performances, sweat lodge, teepee, on the beach, in the forest, in an artist/squat warehouse, on drugs, off drugs, giving/receiving bodywork or sexual hearings, at protests and riots, at Witch Camp, and sitting in theatres watching and feeling.
ArtistBio: Keith Hennessy