LOOK AT THIS STUFF ISN'T IT NEAT? WOULDN'T YOU THINK THIS COLLECTION'S COMPLETE?, 2021
Performative Installation in collaboration with Kenneth Constance Loe, Aquarium, Sculpture Studios of Academy of Fine Arts,Vienna
12-15 Augusti 2021
“What if queerness were understood to reside not in the breech of nature/culture, per se, but in the very nature of spacetimemattering?”—Karen Barad, Nature’s Queer Performativity
Photo (c)Kenneth Constance Loe and Charlotta Öberg(2021)
The title is a reference to The Little Mermaid and is a lyric from the song Part Of Your World performed by Ariel, the first nonhuman Disney princess. One could conjecture that the story of Ariel is about the emancipation from imposed roles, both gendered and societal, or a perpetual phenomenon that “the seagrass is always greener in someone else’s lake.” The project ruminates on these questions while envisioning a space for these desires to bubble to the surface.
The performance features two characters that we performed as—the Jellyfish and the Underwater Still Life Painter—and two soundtracks that we performed with—What the Hell is Water by Akira the Don with spoken word by the late author David Foster Wallace, and I Want to Break Free by Queen. Water here becomes an extended metaphor that stretches the symbolism inherent in these characters and objects of the sea, both real and imagined. Can one quantify queerness in nature? How queer are these water critters? If water is queer, does that make us all 70% queer? How can water and its queer fish inspire us to think? Is a representation of nature always already denatured, and thus always already queer?