a ( w o ) m a n ’ s r i t u a l
The piece A (wo)man’s Ritual will be performed on Saturday, the 2nd of July 2016 at 12pm at Michaela Stock Gallery in Vienna as a part of the performance festival DOPUST Vienna (Days of Open Performance). Frustracиja.’s performance is a response to the framework of the festival and its attempt to open the further discussion about this year’s topic – Masculine Icons: The Reality behind the Fantasy.
In A (wo)man’s ritual frustracиja. creates a simple rite of grooming the long hair of the participants into a braid by the members of the collective. With this motion, frustracиja. is questioning the balance between the two socially coded, but still unstable roles of masculinity and femininity.
The ritual works with the notion that the masculinity simply does not exist without its counterpart. At the same time the piece explores the potentiality of the historically, socially, semantically, politically and sexually charged matter of concern – the hair. The act of the grooming is accompanied by choreographed body movements and repetitive spoken formulas in five different languages. Various languages represent the overlap of multiple identities within the collective and their environment.
By challenging the classical models of masculinity perception, which are mostly formed as a consequence of social pressure, the performance is focused on eliminating the components of frustrating masculinity. Through the use of specific movements, the sense of touch, and the expressive power of voice, the fragile aspect of masculinity construction is revealed and the message of permeation is chanelled. The repetitive mantra becomes the communion by which the two-way process of merging into one becomes possible.
Finally, frustracиja. collective would like to express special gratitude to Michaela and Marko, for their genuine support. The members of the collective would also like to thank all the marvellous fine lads who showed interest and agreed to participate.
• frustracиja. collective is a collaborative group of five women based in Vienna. The members are coming from different cultural backgrounds from the Central, Eastern and South-Eastern parts of Europe. Men in the performance were volunteers chosen by a single criterion – the length of their hair.
Vienna, June 2016 frustracиja.