Gender Euphoria

Arts Centre Melbourne/Melbourne International Arts Festival
Reviewed by
ABR Arts

Gender Euphoria

Arts Centre Melbourne/Melbourne International Arts Festival
Reviewed by
ABR Arts

In 2018, formidable queer, feminist theorist Amelia Jones gave a lecture at ACCA about gender identity in art. She spoke about transness as containing an inherent denial of resolution; as a state of essential complexity. To be transgender was to revel in the space between definitions, the space where identity refused to coalesce into something comprehensible and static. A state of ceaseless becoming.

Gender Euphoria occupies this messy, complicated midground, the enigmatic place between worlds, with joy and humanity. From its opening voiceover – ‘Theydies and gentlethems, welcome’ – it creates a space of radical acceptance. Mama Alto begins the show with a gleeful story of a phone survey that demanded that she identify as either male or female. The computer’s inflexible insistence – ‘Please make a valid selection’ – made her laugh, a sudden raucous, revolutionary laughter, deliciously revelling in the complication of gender. ‘Join us,’ she urges, ‘not in gender dysphoria, but in gender euphoria. After all, it is only machines that think in binary.’

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