YUME NIKKI: TRISTAN JALLEH in response to BHENJI RA’s THE WETNESS
She’s slippery, she’s fish, she’s hard to catch and she’s meant to be. She’ll slip through your fingers, no matter how big and wide they are, lost from your sight she’s saying, “you can’t have me”.
Queerness, transness, intersections of cultural identities die once comprehended. Fixed by a mass hetero global gaze, the essence of these identities is often at risk of erasure when subjected to a logic that seeks to finalise their form. Our bodies, embedded with the traces of history and cultural narrative, perform a queer act of rematerialising, remixing, resisting. Resisting who? Resisting you.
Bhenji Ra is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice combines dance, choreography, video and installation. Her work is often concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity, centralizing her own personal histories as a tool to reframe performance. Collaboration is key to her work as she regularly accesses her own community as an essential critical voice. Her collaborative video series Ex Nilalang with artist Justin Shoulder, has been exhibited at the 8th Asia Pacific Trienalle at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, M+ Museum in Hong Kong and The Australian Centre of Moving Image in Melbourne. She recently performed her work NRG in collaboration with Angela Goh in Auto Italia’s group show Rogue Agents with the support of the Kier foundation. In 2016 she was awarded the ‘danceweb’ scholarship in which she participated at the Impulstanz Festival in Vienna under the mentorship of Tino Sehgal. She is currently occupied with being the ‘mother’ of a young, western Sydney based vogue house named Sléwhose work consists of hosting events and ‘balls’ for the intersections of community and performance.