WE ARE LOSING INERTIA brings together the radical performances of alternative-drag artist, Meth, and Chinese-Singaporean performance artist Zou Zhao. Through the phenomenological encounter of two bodies marked by sexual and racial difference, the event seeks to proliferate critical dialogue on the politics of marginalized intersectionality as sites of resistance against ideologies and histories of injurious interpellation and reductive categorizations.
Both artists operate insidiously within structurally violent and repressive regimes in order to rupture them, producing new artistic and socio-political counterpublics. Meth’s practice provokes the exclusionary aspirational ideals of beauty, race, and class that have plagued drag and queer communities. By embracing irony, anonymity and physical distortion in his lip-sync to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, Meth revives the critical potential of drag and reclaims the shameful caricaturizations of LGBT communities that serve as heterosexist entertainment.
Adopting the fictive persona of John Hansen, a student of modern Chinese philosophy that proclaims its lack of truth, Zou Zhao satirizes the conceited theorization, representation and fictionalization of racial Others. While deceptively ‘radical’ in form, such thought remains deeply ideological, conserving the Western subject’s sovereignty. Through her parodic lecture-performance, Zou Zhao ridicules the claim that Chinese is not a language by appropriating and sabotaging these existing structures of knowledge and rationalization.
In a collaborative performance, Meth & Zou Zhao attempt to translate and complicate their respective vernaculars for each other and their audience. Though seemingly estranged by their cultural difference, both artists converge in their shared use of the voice to articulate their marginalized lexicons – Meth’s improvisational skills as a hostess and synchronicity as a lip-sync performer interject Zou Zhao’s lyrical singing of 8th Century Tang poems. Throughout this idiosyncratic dialogue between idiomatic Chinese and queer colloquialisms, lacunas of misinterpretation and incomprehension surface. Yet, these chasms are not performative teleologies, but rather the engendering of a poetics of unknowability.
WE ARE LOSING INERTIA acts as a platform to facilitate such agonistic encounters of disharmony between strange(r) bodies and factions, thus suturing new radical subjectivities. Embracing the experimental nature of performance art and subculture, it revokes resolution, and instead asks necessary questions about how and why marginalization and disenfranchisement acts. Co-mingling between artists like Meth and Zou Zhao proliferates infinite tributaries and melanges of subjectivities that escape definition and representation. These futural imaginations allow for the reclamation of social agency and the re-imagination and radicalization of histories of shame and hegemonic oppression.
This event will be accompanied by the launch of a synonymous zine that will flesh out pertinent debates on intersectionality, queer performance, and the politics of art and activism.
Curated & organized by Binghao Wong