Monday, October 30, 2017, 7:30-8 pm
CREATURELOVE is an evening of performances dedicated to the creature curated for TWOFORTY by Natasha Marie Llorens. How much can you open yourself to the experience of the creature’s strangeness, Mary Wichmann wonders, without losing your place in language? How can you let the creature touch you, Madison Bycroft asks, and how can you admit how much you want to touch the creature, even if touching it entails an irrevocable transformation?
Mary Wichmann’s performative lecture Scaffolds (WORKING TITLE) presents his Instagram posts of creatures and part-objects—objects that contain some type of structural contradiction or trace of chaotic and unconscious desire—alongside excerpts from Ulrike Ottinger's The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press and J. M. Coetzee's novel Elizabeth Costello. Each thing he presents is an analogy for the way people encounter Wichmann himself as he undergoes a transition from female to male: the panic, the desire, the fantasy of mastery, the ambivalence, the recognition of contradiction and the potential for chaos as the gender binary breaks apart. Through the juxtaposition of elements, Wichmann reflects on how the creature is both radically outside and inseparable from the projection of our fantasies onto it.
In a performance that looks seaward, In Lieu of the Limpet's Limit, Madison Bycroft finds an unlikely theoretician in the Slipper Limpet, a hermaphrodite mollusk. Born as between, neither or both genders, the creature becomes "male" and then "female" as it moves through its life sequence. Bycroft draws on Karen Barad’s theory of agential realism, or the idea that things emerge through what Barad calls “intra-actions” with other things. “Every level of touch, then, is itself touched by all possible others [...] that touching the other is touching all others, including the “self,” and touching the “self” entails touching the strangers within [...],” Barad writes. Bycroft’s performance brings together a series of fragments to situate this aquatic snail as master, and proposes a new discourse of language, subjecthood, friendship and touch.
Mary Wichmann is an artist from the United States of America.
Madison Bycroft is an artist based between Adelaide, Australia and Rotterdam. Since 2016, along with Natalia Sorzano and Kari Robertson she runs GHOST, an artistic platform in the Netherlands.
Natasha Marie Llorens is an independent curator and writer based between Marseille and New York.
 Barad, 2012, p.5