In this work, the artist makes an effort to cover every inch of her own body with kiss prints. The audience surrounds her in a circle, witnessing the process of failure, impossibilities, victories and progress. In this carefully negotiated encounter, at some point the audience is invited to step in and support the artist’s struggle.
The performance links questions of agency, desirability and lovability of bodies that are othered, with those of self-care and collective care in fascist, neoliberal capitalist and patriarchal societies. It further addresses distorted ideas of love in the form of rape culture and obsession, as well as consent and community accountability.
The title is a reference to the pilgrimage of many women who leave kiss prints on the grave of Oscar Wilde, which here represent a symbol for the act of pouring love where it is not reciprocated.
Julischka Stengele (AT)
Julischka Stengele (*1982 in South Germany) – transdisciplinary queer and feminist artist, of poverty class background and possessing an academic education, based in Vienna.
After a qualification in Household Arts, Stengele studied Communication Design, Photography, Performance, Fine Arts, Queer and Gender studies in Berlin, Helsinki and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where she graduated at the department of Post-Conceptual Art Practices, led by Marina Gržinić. Since 2007, Stengele’s work has been widely presented, in over 20 countries and she has received a number of scholarships and awards.
“My unpaid full-time job is being unapologetically fat, queer and femme/inist. For money, I perform, I speak, I write, create photographs, installations, lead workshops, give talks, organize and curate events or get naked. The relationship of a body and its socio-cultural environment serves as a base for my work. In my work and life, I utilize my own body as a tool to reveal the political dimension of what is said to be personal.”