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Entweder.Oder. My speech @ DOCKVILLE Kunstkamp

Erstmal möchte ich natürlich warnen: ich bin kein Kunstwissenschaftler, der mit intellektuellen Begriffen auf höchster Ebene jonglieren wird. Ich habe zwar 2 Jahren lang Philosophie und Linguistik studiert, ich habe jedoch keine fundierte Kenntnisse im Kunstbereich. Ich BIN ein Künstler und mache Kunst (wenn man das so sagen/nennen kann). Nun könnte ich ad absurdum das Thema "Kategorien in der Kunst?" behandeln und auf die Schwierigkeit hinweisen, zu definieren, was überhaupt Kunst ausmacht. Das als erste Kategorie: um als Kunst anerkannt zu sein, muß man schon sich in die Klassifikation erarbeiten! Hier könnte man schnell auch in die Debatte verfallen: bleibt Kunst an sich eine hermetische Kategorie, wo nur auserwählten/initierten/kultivierten Zugang haben, oder hat es nur mit ästhetischen Spaß zu tun, eigenen Geschmack und subjektives Einschätzungsvermögen, was universell ist? Ich könnte auch auf die von Hegel definierten Kategorien hinweisen, die sich mit den Jahren weiter erweitert haben (von den 6 ursprünglichen Kategorien über der 7. -cinema - bis hin zum 10. mit digital). Ich könnte sogar auf die Klassifikation von Francis Parent (abstrakt, figurativ, spirituell etc) erweitern! Und dann hätte wir eine richtig langweilige Rede. Der neulich verstorbene Chris Walker ist das beste Beispiel dafür: unkategorisierbar. Auch meine Arbeit ist nicht kategorisierbar. Weder bin ich ein Sänger, noch ein Tanzer, weder ein Filmemacher noch ein Tanzer, aber ich berühre alle diese Genres (was auch mit meinem nicht kategorisiert-werden-wollen- Einsatz zu tun haben könnte).

Gerade Kunst soll die Kategorien an sich transzendieren. Kunst an sich als höchstes Freiheitswesen, der allen Grenzen sprengt, weil Horizonten eröffnet, Imagination fördert, Träume über die Realität hinaus zeichnet. Im Sinne von Kant: nicht mal Homère könnte berichten, was sein ganzer Werk zum Ausdruck bringt.Kunst kann sein/existieren als solche, ohne unter besonderen kulturellen Normen oder Regeln eingeordnet oder verstanden zu werden. Dafür sollte Kunst als Frucht seines "Schaffer"/des Künstlers, und ganz ausgeliefert zur Schätzung des Betrachters existieren, also als Brücke, als Einladung, also nicht als Entweder oder sonders als und. Mehr nicht, aber auch nicht weniger.

Ich möchte auch nicht weniger vom Leben haben. Mir ist es bewußt, in dem ungemeinen Luxus zu leben, wählen zu dürfen, hier, lebend in Berlin, und sicherlich!! auch in meiner privilegierter Position als weiße, gebildete Person. Was für eine bequeme Position! Auch wenn das Erleben des "Zwischen der Stühle sitzen" alles andere als bequem ist - sei es zwischen der Staatsangehörigkeiten, der sozialen und kulturellen Kreisen, zwischen Subkultur und kommerziellem Erfolg, zwischen Gender, Städte, zwischen privat und öffentlich! Und es ist noch nicht mal so, daß "dazwischen" zwischen zwei Pole heißt, denn was ist schon linear und hat zwei Enden? Hier möchte ich zu einem Artikel von Katrin Triebswetter im Magazin "fiber. werkstoff für feminismus und popkultur" weiterleiten: http://www.oceanleroy.biz/blog/2010/01/zwischen-den-stuhlen-der-strand/

Aber diese Position habe ich ja ausgewählt. Die strengt mich an und gibt mir eine Spannung, bis ich meine Grenzen spüre, Grenzen die ich eigentlich nie finden möchte. Das nenne ich Freiheit, und die Kunst zu leben - oder überleben.

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TLVFEST

After a week of screenings, my Jury in charge of the Feature Films gives the prizes to Man at Bath (Christophe Honoré) and Madame X (Lucky Kuswandi).

Here are the Statements of the Jury: Man at bath: Man at Bath is a beautiful, daring and provocative look at a seemingly simple situation: The breakup of a gay couple. Director Honoré manages to take us on a tour de force into the days after the end of a love. The films' fragmented style, switching back and forth in genre, form and place is a brilliant analogy for the fractured state of its protagonists. Eventually, Man at Bath is a complex and smart interrogation of what it means to see and what it means to be seen, a film about invisibility and overexposure, a statement on sex and intimacy and how it is so often confused in a gay male subculture.

Madame X: Madame X took us on a truly cinematic adventure into a hilarious utopia between comic style, glamour and trash. Director Lucky Kuswandi tackles the big issues of homophia, transphobia, oppressive political regimes and lets its superhero, a transgender hairdresser in rural Indonesia eventually dance it away. The Jury would like to honour the filmmakers for their courage to tell a difficult story in a funny and empowering way, for their strong political statement and for their social consciousness to bring more peace to the world.

I leave the town with the nicest memory: an encounter with Pyuupiru, the Japanese artist I discovered together with the Tel Aviv TLVFestival Director Yair Hochner at the Asian Hot Shots Film festival in Berlin l last year in a great documentary about her life... beautiful private moments between english and japanese words to exchange about our lives...

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acting class - back to the beginning in NYC

Studio Manager Leo welcomes me, pointing out that the calendar today is dedicated to the ocean - a good sign for a successful class today, he says with his charming smile. Well, the class today will be quite a challenge for all of us, as Brad is pushing us back to our childhood when we had a vision of what we would like to be. Every actor in the room will be improvising from that starting point: "as I was a child, I wanted to be...." Hardly any of us will leave the class today without having left a drop of body liquid. Well, at least a tear or some sweat. It is an incredible excitement to go back to these very moments of innocence and purity, when you are genuinely yourself, into yourself, with yourself and your intimate dreams, your envision of what life, your life could be, and not wasted by the views of parents or society, not shaken by doubts, not crushed by deceptions, not poised from ambition, vanity or the illusions of fame. Not an easy exercise to take that back on stage in front of a professional, however supporting audience. But a great one. A great first class announcing a series of new practices and techniques to be more fluid through different shells, still strongly anchored in the character you are incarnating. Great stuff, as Brad would keep repeating. Yeah, great stuff!

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Rake's progress

Was at the derniere of The Rake's progress last night and some people were booing. I was wondering why - was it the conservative Charlottenburger high society shoked about the drag & trans* on stage? or were they queer people booing, maybe irritated that exactly these exotized extravaganza was there to incarnate the devil temptation and debauchery? At any case: my new song is exactly about that tiring use of queer "decoration"... freshly baked from the studio oven...

See for yourself a review of Rake's Progress at the Staatsoper Berlin.

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20 pages for a gender switch

You know why I like Siegessäule from now on? Auf der Seite 31 bin ich von Gina Tonic als Künstlerin erwähnt!!!!!!!!! Didn't know myself about my last sex change, that are indeed breaking news ;-D und dann, 51 Seiten weiter, diesmal mit richtigem Gender in der Klatschkolumne. Thanks, Karin Schupp! The other way round wouldnt have been so queer!

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Back in London at Bar Wotever

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Yo, it was quite a long time without visiting an island where I lived for quite a while... more than time to hit the stage again on the kind invitation of Ingo and discover the Royal Vauxhall Tavern! very nice stage with luxurious red curtains.... automatic screen rolling down on command.... backstage with a bathroom - what could an artist ask for more? Oh yes for sure the audience ;-)

And the audience was so warm welcoming, so attentive, mixing up all genders and styles in a very intimate atmosphere. I loved it and promised to be back in fall! Vancouver meets Berlin in London

One of the nicest moment was to find a friend from Vancouver just visiting for a couple of days and share our experiences on vessels and docks... to be seen soon on screen in a new performance..

Coming up soon ;-) stay tuned!

New London Skyline

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New website, new shows, new towns!

Let's start with those of you all around the world: you can find on the new website much more than ever before. Pix, press articles, audio and video materials, show proposal for abroad and technical requirements - it will be much easier for you to get the information you need to prepare the gigs, write an article, or simply get in touch! Now to those of you living and jetting in and throughout Europe: I am glad to announce you the next shows - in Bern next Saturday at 10pm @ Reitschule, and then in London on April 6th at the legendary Bar Wotever!! I am incredibly happy to be back there to perform again, 7 years after the not less legendary Drag Contest for Ms. Lesbian UK! Gosh * Blush...

... and the East European Tour planned for this year will be announced as soon as I get a better overview of the logistics - and complete the new programme ;-) Patience!

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Océan Transatlantique...

So this is where the show goes on: on a container cargo with a Liberia flag, 275m long and 40m wide. A very private show indeed as I will be the only guest with the captain and a couple of sailors! Can't wait to board in Le Havre and immediately be away from everything, no phone, no internet, no job, no stage, NOTHING except the sea, the roaring waves, the glittering sky, maybe a hurricane menacing, the peace of the stars, the salty sun burning even under 0°, somehow the fear to never come back... and the promise to leave that one behind in the very moment my feet will reach ground again. That is: in Savannah. Gone with the wind. And back with the wind, flying like a bird to rock Italy by the end of March! See ya there.

Cargo

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all around the world... and back!

OceanAir It all started last year, taking off some time in fall, somewhere between Vancouver and Sao Paulo, flying further to Amsterdam, Bilbao, Jakarta, New York.. and to Paris to complete the Tour at Le Divan du Monde, what a name - could there have been a better place to find some release after such a trip?

first ticket Ocean LeRoy

The film "Risk, Strech or Die" has been screened everywhere, and I was to be beamed with the multimedia show all around the places to accompany it !! discovering new audiences, new questions, new aspects of trangender life, new challenges which brought me nearer to myself... and further away from the film, which had been quite a trigger, a springboard, a chance to face own limits and new horizons.

time zones

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Bayangkan hiduplo... @ Q! Indonesia ;-)

Guess where to What a Welcome

What a welcome. It remembered me of Zurich Airport, warmly welcoming the French - for whatever reason -.. it is the first time in the tour the first words I read are: DEATH PENALTY. I have to think about the questionnaire I had to complete before entering the Indonesian territory: are you carrying film material? are you importing pornographic items to the country? Well. Is a stuffer pornographic? A dildo? A harnass? Is a multimedia show burnt on DVD a film? Shall I cross yes or no? I let you guess :-) at any case: I managed to get in easier than in Israel!!

Jakarta is a HUGE traffic jam in a pre-national-day fever... I thought I knew what it means to drive like mad after my experience in Sri Lanka, but there is obviously always a possibility for improvement on this earth.. :-) It is stricly speaking possible to go by foot, but practically impossible. At any case: any transportation from A to B necessitates half an hour at least, wherever you go, better: one hour. For sure if I write a song on Jakarta, it will be about the traffic...

Jakarta Skyline

Street Vendors Actually, no! it will be about the LADIES'FLOOR of the fully booked hotel. I tried to explain to the receptionnist that it might be quite a hassle to have a room on a floor where no man is allowed, with a female security guard taking care of any unwelcomed visitor with a beard and an obviously masculine outfit - there is no other possibility for me than to ask for a specific escort to go to my room on the 15th floor. Every night!!! The Ladies' Floor :-) Do I look like a Lady? The security Guard decides than NO, pretty much like everybody here adressing me as a man, if I wear a beard or none - this is not a relevant indicator any more here. Or not a sufficient one ;-)

TransJakarta

Tea or Coffee

But still, quite a lot of participants have been enrolling for the king's workshop. Concentrated faces. Humourous questions. Excellent mood. Serious work. Guys, you really made my eve on that day!

Workshop participants

preparing the materials

Amaury trying to open a glue bottle

beard technique

true guy

en avoir ou pas

Before leaving for Bali and more fun, more screenings, more parties, a huge party has been organized to close the Java part of the Q! Festival... I was too glad to make the first Drag King Show on the Island that evening, in the most beautiful location on the Beach, the Segara... before we all drunk too much of that interesting cocktail and went crazy on the dance floor under the fireworks, the moon... and the fog.

Segara pelouse

Segara screen

First King Show

First King Show

Bali team @ kudos_3

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Drag Festival

My friend visiting from Amsterdam shows me a picture which could have been the source of inspiration for "Femme Like You" and "Torn" that I was performing last night at the Werkstatt der Kulturen - a favourite of the audience that the Festival organizer had asked me to perform again... As far as I remember, I created this performance 3 years ago (gosh), obnubilated by the idea of a turning point to change quickly between the genders, realizing that eventually I was the turning point, as soon as I would turn around..

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Closing Zinegoak08: the wings of cinema...

Could there be a more beautiful name for a film festival? :-) Bilbao looks like my native town. Here the cathedral is white, there black, but the streets of the old neighboodhood are so similar I could mistaken and feel I am in France and not in Spain.

It is nice here, 19°C, sun and fountains, I'm so much travelling these days I can't even remember if we have spring or winter. It changes every months, the seasons have been accelerating like mad, I am now on my way for years already?

Again that feeling of urgency invades me. I would love to take all these impressions with me, back to Berlin, pack them in texts and notes, and sing and slam and play them soon...

The honour to perform for the Fiesta de Clausura is bound to a great challenge. How do I make it with 2 stages, one is 1.80m high and I must jump!?! The wall is black, the projection too dark, the subtitles won't show up, and there is no light?!? the DVD players are not linked to the speakers, and the DJ can't see me?!? An equation which will teach me. It is never about the technique, it is about the energy on stage... and this, I could give more than enough ;-) But indeed, chicos, sois fantasticos. Muchas gracias a Serafin, Pati y Xavier, los mas rapidos technicos que nunca he visto durante el tour!!

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Berlin Summertime

here we go - the summer is here again. nothing better than a urban swim in the middle of the town to refresh body and mind... a bit tired after the show last week for the release party of the drag king book, but how nice is it to be on stage to fight for more visibility of our community?

http://www.oceanleroy.biz

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Sweaty TriQ Party

I am always tensed before going on stage when I sing something for the first time, especially THIS time, as it is the first song I wrote with my brother together, the music seems to come directly from my heart and I feel like undressing my soul in front of the audience...

You said there is a place as wide as the sky Somewhere between the moon and the sea You said there is a place between dark and light A place beyond the he an the she

By performing it the first time, I dedicate the song to the TriQ Association working hard for the rights of transgender people.

www.transinterqueer.org And believe it or not: the ceiling is leaking... of condensed sweat!!! Is that the proof for a really great party?! ;-)

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On the way to the Alhambra Oldenburg

On the train to Oldenburg I realize I will perform tonight for the first time the full version of "Homophobia", a song I wrote on my way back from the CSD Warsaw last year... on the train. I must smile again, because it will ALSO be the première of "Far beyond" I finished to write on a train TOO, somewhere between Berlin and Rügen, on a quest for salty, fresh air and a bit of peace... Seens trains are inspiring to me...

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