STUNTMAN





Exploring the queer erotics of compressed time and impending mortality, STUNTMAN is a three hour live performance which cultivated as a result of an artist-in-residence with Steakhouse Live in ]performance s p a c e [, Folkestone. The final live action was realised at Tonybee Studios, ArtsAdmin in London for Steakhouse Live's live art event Slow Sunday in March 2020.

Enclosed within four walls, I straddle a motorbike as it faces a dead-end ramp. Without turning the key in the ignition, the narrative is clear; if I drive, I crash…

The flickering headlight remains the sole source of light as I thrust my clenched crotch down on the saddle. With one embodied stomp, I kickstart the engine and throttle the engine until it suddenly cuts.  The space is now filled with a deeper understanding of the motorbikes masculine undertones; the sweet purr; the rattling roar; the engine cuts; the spectre remains. Fatal fumes refuse to disperse as sight becomes hazed and bodies form a homogenous whole. Toxic masculinity penetrates.

Now I’m left to ask, why did I want to emulate toxic masculinity? But then I think of the words of Del LaGrace Volcano and I feel some form of clarity, even if only fleetingly:
“The feeling of comfort and relief I experienced when being perceived as male came as quite a shock to me because I was raised to believe in the power and glory of womanhood. There are some who accuse me of betraying “womanity” by inhabiting what looks and sounds like a male body. BOLLOCKS to that I say! I’m a Gender Terrorist, a walking, talking bomb in The Boys Club. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.”

- Del LaGrace Volcano
The Drag King Book (1999)

***

The greatest chunk of my time with the motorbike was spent straddling it; pressing my thighs down with as much force as they would allow; my inner legs speckled with bruising. Even in its most banal description, the phallic undertones cannot be overlooked. 

- Extract from Live Art Development Agency’s featured artist segment (2020)

Duration: 3 hours
Photographs courtesy of  ]performance s p a c e [