project image
Diane Wiltshire
#SERGINA’S STIMULATINGLY SEXY SIMULTANEOUS SIMULATION OF HERSELF

first performed on November 11, 2015
performed simultaneously at The Lowry in Salford Quays, and The Island in Bristol, UK; Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke in Berlin, Germany; G12 Hub in Belgrade, Serbia; and Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn, NY
performed twice in 2015

ELLY CLARKE

Liz Rosenfeld, Raul de Nieves, Vladimir Bjelic, Kate Spence, Elly Clarke

Berlin, Germany / Birmingham, UK / Belgrade, Serbia / Brooklyn, NY
ellyclarke@gmail.com
ellyclarke.com
vimeo.com/sergina

#SERGINA’S STIMULATINGLY SEXY SIMULTANEOUS SIMULATION OF HERSELF
ELLY CLARKE

“#Sergina’s Stimulatingly Sexy Simultaneous Simulation of Herself” is a simultaneous performance by gender-ambiguous drag queen #Sergina, taking place in several places at once, by performers wearing identical outfits with the same makeup, lip-syncing to the same songs to the same choreography before live audiences, linked up (and broadcast) via Google Hangout. The performance explores the tussle between the grounded organic body (which can be only ever in one place at once) and the digital image, which can be (projected) simultaneously almost anywhere. It also explores gender identity in a world where the physical body is so often no longer co-present with others, and yet where its (digital, ‘enhanced’) image has more power than possibly ever, with huge influence on how one should look and be…

Lasting seventeen minutes, the performance first took place at The Lowry in Salford Quays (for the opening night of RIGHT HERE/RIGHT NOW) and simultaneously, in Brooklyn, Berlin, Belgrade, and Bristol—and was broadcast live via thisistomorrow.Info from The Lowry and (from all venues) via Google Hangout via #Sergina’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/channel/UCoIcthG1GopxFhGlBCOepQw. ALL SONGS are written by Elly Clarke in collaboration with different people. Each performance is aided by Handsome Boys and Tech Girls—of any genders.

Following the tradition of instructional artwork artists such as Sol Lewitt, Marina Abramovic´, or Yoko Ono, and influenced by the way we live now in at least two dimensions simultaneously online and off with the pressure to update both our organic and digital bodies/profiles constantly, the performance sees #Sergina as an organic avatar, or franchise to be rented out, (purchased even?) and consumed. A situation where gestures, like code or like family resemblances, are taught, learned, performed, and re-formed, affecting and infecting her locations and their inhabitants differently each time. The audience is made up of people online (mostly), and offline (fewer).

#Sergina has been described as ‘post-gender’ but I see this as simply one element of ‘post-physical,’ where, with most of our interactions taking place online and the importance of being anywhere physically is being called increasingly into question. What happens to the organic body when the digital version looks so much better? I would hope that people can recognize themselves in #Sergina, and think about their own use of technology and how it impacts their own sense of self and relationships.

To my knowledge, this is the only simultaneous performance of this kind to have ever taken place.