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Intertwined with sexuality, queerness, feminism and marginality, the seventh edition of Creamcake’s 3hd Festival weaponises visual art to negotiate the power dynamics within contemporary BDSM practices in relation to society. The new edition titled Power Play: Garden of Eden kicks off at Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art from today until November 1, and offers an insight into the progressive minds of promising artists who empower sexuality as ‘play.’

Whatever you thought, think again. 3hd Festival engages in demonstrating the power dynamics between submission and dominance within BDSM culture as socially-negotiable in relation to human properties, such as intimacy, lust, desire, fatigue and inebriation. This narrative will be delivered through various art forms, including short film, music and performance.

One of the pieces being presented is Lu Yang’s work Delusional Crime and Punishment, a genderless, CGI-rendered avatar of the artist investigates the meaning of existence through metaphors of theological determinism. From a neuroscientific perspective, it raises questions about the provenance of human existence, our bodily construction and its relation to sins: how can our corporeal being predetermine our fate in hell if the latter itself is beyond our metaphysical dimension? The short film also features mischievous, bassy club dark trap music composed and produced by musician Gameface especially for this project.

Another one is titled In the Reflection of Ancient Tides (2018) by Keioui Keijaun Thomas. As a Black trans woman, Keioui wishes to represent not only Black people, but also to give visibility to the independent and non-binary Blackness that is overwhelmingly underrepresented in mainstream media. The short film focuses on Black bodies as she believes that the body is central to everything, and it can be eroticised, marginalised and physicalised through movement and matter.

Last but not least, Sequence 02 1 (2017) by Cristine Brache is presented with footage of fetish porn and memories of the gendered advice from her migrant grandfather. It approaches feminism from an alternative standpoint that challenges the stigma around women’s indirectness of being weak (aka. submission) since they are expected by hyper-feminists to be aggressive and swift. This short film suggests that we look at marginalized women who are caught in power relationships, and cannot approach the oppressors in a direct way, so as to not avoid losing oneself in the complexity of economic, political and sexual relations.

Xi Wang

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