Perimeter Virtual Reality Gallery
Perimeter is the latest audio visual work by HYENAZ, featuring performances by Mmakgosi Kgabi, Martini Cherry Furter and Simon(è) Jaikiriuma Paetau . It asks the question: what does it feel like to understand oneself as “just outside” and yet also “just barely inside” an identity, a concept, a philosophy, a group, a family, a home, a situation, a gathering? What is the feeling of just barely belonging? Both inside and outside? What is it like to be “foreign” to a place which is familiar? What is foreign inside?
Adrienne Teicher chose the perimeter of her semi-discarded Jewishness; Mad Kate delved into their relationship with her assigned-female body and sisterhood; Mmakgosi Kgabi explored her complex relationship with the feeling of joy; Martini Cherry Furter danced between notions of the “real” and “performative” self and Simon(è) Jaikiriuma Paetau, who lives between Germany and Columbia, chose the perimeter of the peripheric body and the intersecting lines of race, gender and class present in each of their homes.
The core of the work is a sharply cut music video, with stunning artistic direction by Yeorg Kronnagel and cinematography by Robert Mleczko, wherein the five artists perform these unstable territories. What they create with their bodies is emotionally raw, yet hyperstylised, allowing visitors to the gallery to witness how playfulness can emerge even in territories which are traumatic. The music elicits associations with the underground techno scene of the city of Berlin in which all five performers live.
Presented around this nucleus is an interview with each of the artists, which play simultaneously on five separate screens. It was in these interviews that HYENAZ and their collaborators discovered and elaborated their perimeters, giving themselves space to describe in careful detail, aspects of their existence which normally live beneath the surface of awareness. This gives visitors the unique opportunity to look inside, and behind and beyond the subculture of queer performance in Berlin.
PERIMETER was composed in Bitwig on Ubuntu Linux. The field recordings were collected on slow movement journeys of volunteering and research for FOREIGN BODIES, a project about bodies in relation to each other, bodies in motion, bodies in repulsion and attraction, bodies in migration, bodies in resistance to management and control. Every sound is built from field recordings … a scrap of metal against a metal fence atop a hill in Samothraki, Greece … busy cafe in Palermo, speaking to our collaborator and fellow musician Yusuph Suso, who is also an interpreter for other Gambian asylum seekers … the sounds of working in a refugee kitchen in Dunkirk, France … saxophone samples from Bartłomiej Kuźniak in Częstochowa, Poland, when we visited him and explored the ancient caves … clarinet samples from Alex Spree in Berlin, Germany while working on music for Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution. All the layers of this composition have a story that we will not forget. The EP includes the original track plus remixes by IXA and Maya Postepski aka Princess Century.