The Performance, featuring poetry by Elenia Graf (Barcelona, Spain): Misphoria

  • 18 Dec 2021 6pm UTC
  • dur 9min

Misphoria is a live online performance piece that was documented through video. The piece features spoken word by poet Elenia Graff as well as pre-recorded sounds and music. Using a bucket of fake blood, the artist slowly covers themselves in fake blood from a bucket on the floor, letting it drip, splatter, and rub into the canvas-lined walls and floor. Costuming for the performance is skin-toned undergarments, avoiding nudity because of Instagram’s guidelines (the original platform the performance was hosted on) but still insinuating it. Misphoria explores multiple things, but mainly, the inherent trauma of being born in a female-presenting body. The piece tends to themes of disgust, misogyny, dysphoria, and confusion, bordering into surrealism. The narrative follows a path of self-discovery, beginning with the deep-rooted trauma that being female-presenting entails. This is followed by the exhalation of realizing how self-sexualizing can work in your favor, and how modeling behaviors and ‘making misogyny work for you’ just enhances this trauma since it drives these prejudices further and makes you compliant to these behaviors. Finally, the performance discusses the surreal discordance of separation from gender. It will explore the body merely as a body, unattached from the contexts it was previously adhered to. Misphoria also explores the many layers of performance art and will continue to discuss questions previously posed by artists such as Saburo Murakami and M. Lohrum, namely asking what constitutes the art piece in a performance. Is it the performance itself? Is it the resulting marks left behind? The documentation of the performance? The canvas will be left to dry after the performance, resulting in a physical remembrance of the piece, almost like a scar.

BIO: The Performance exists an in-between space, constantly nowhere and everywhere at once. They have always existed as a middle ground- from their race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and gender, they have existed uncertainly, looking for spaces they belong to, but never being able to completely give themselves to them. With their art, The Performance has been able to not only find but build an in-between space in which to exist and thrive. Their work comes back to their body and its contexts, using the body’s identifiers to disseminate who they are at the core. Using a wide variety of mediums and methods, they find themself in conversation with performance and video art, installation, and book art. Their use of different media bleeds into each other- finding new niches and pockets to cultivate within their practice. The Performance draws inspiration from their own experiences and the natural world around them, observing the cycles that perpetuate themselves and reappear constantly. ARTIST’S WEBSITE