It's not personal, It's drag" - performances

As an important part of the "It's not personal, it's drag" project, I invited 5 drag queens from the Sao paulo scene to perform in the gallery, during the exhibition. Ikaro Kadoshi and Malonna presented two romantic numbers at the opening of the show. On the 18th April, Alma Negrot, Eva-x and Thiagx presented each a different number. The variety of styles contributed to bring different aspects of the live art of drag to the public of the exhibition. Here is a short presentation of each one them.

-------- Ikaro Kadoshi --------

 Ikaro Kadoshi was born in the year 2000. “Ikaro” reflects the passion for Greek mythology; “Kadoshi” means “saint” in Hebrew. Along the past years, he has created different characters and has become an icon of androgyny. Son style unique has conquered recognition in Brazil and abroad.

 “I identify myself as a blank canvas, I can be whatever I desire: masculine, feminine, ambiguous, or neuter, an incognito character. I reinvent and transform myself each time I dress up. I get inspiration from everything I see or touch, and by everything that touches me. There are no limits for creation and everything I do is related to emotion and feelings. Without these elements, I don’t exist!”

 For the performance at Tag Gallery I chose the song “ And I am telling you” by Jennifer Hudson. I really appreciate the lyrics and its interpretations. Since Suriani’s work has given visibility to the art of drag, the words” I am telling you I won’t go away and you will have to love me” seemed very appropriate. I chose to wear a red dress with roses, not only because it happens to be my favorite color, but also because it reflects love, passion and intensity. The heart in the center of the dress means that absolutely everything I do is generated by emotion and is meant to bring messages and multiple meanings to the public. The rest were tears and a storm of sensations inside”.

-------- Alma Negrot --------

Alma Negrot is a  drag queen (or drag queer) that was born from the need to express gender utopias and desires of Rapha Jacques. She was born from the dissatisfaction of being one determined thing, Alma is a manifest against the obligation of being man or woman, or of heaving the aspect of a healthy human figure. Alma identifies herself with animals, ghosts, and folk legends. “I have been influenced by many different elements: Latin American culture, the punk and post-punk movements of the 80’s, club kids and the art of painting. My activity started two years ago in the city of Porto Alegre where I was performing in artistic friend reunions, reciting poems, dancing, and lip-synching.

Alma has grown on me, and it kind of took control. She wanted more time, more life and she willed to travel. That’s when I quit college to experience a nomad drag queen life. For that I took only one wig and a pair of high heels in my bag and found my way hitchhiking through Brazil and Argentina.  I like to ride my bike listening to the song that inspire me, doing so; the performances arise in my mind. There are no rehearsals; my performances are based on improvisation. That includes the clothes done with recycled materials and pieces of tissues that I find everywhere. I enjoy dealing with new encounters, with precariousness and transform these in something surprisingly beautiful. For the make up, a bit of paint and pieces of paper can be enough.

 When I was invited to perform at the exhibition space as part of the “It’s not personal, it’s drag” I was really happy and nervous because I would like to present something that would please the public? I was looking for something people would easily identify with. But then I decided to bring some tragedy and drama as an expression of the creative conflict with my own body.

 My character assumed a deformed face and was dressed in white as to express naivety. That’s how I incorporated the song “Red Over White” from one of my favorite singers Siouxsie Sioux, that talks about pain and sacrifice. In the performance I was sawing myself with red lines that were running through my clothes, my skin to finally perforate my heart. In the end of the act, I died and my face falls onto my own blood. Concerning the movements and the dance, it was pure improvisation and people seemed surprised or scared. At the end I am very pleased by the fact that people get confused by what I might be, because actually even I don’t really know.

 -------- Malonna --------

Malonna studied Arts and Fashion at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Since her arrival in Sao Paulo in 2013, she has proved her talent to the public and is now one of the most interesting queens of this new generation. Besides her activity as a drag queen, she has created the Oficina da Malonna, which is a fashion workshop specialized in costumes and accessories for drag queens and theatre. For the project "It's not personal, it's drag", she has performed to the famous song "I am what I am" by Gloria Gaynor from the movie "La cage aux folles". During the lipsync, images of iconic characters from the gay movement or important gay icons from the past decades were projected over her. This performance is a homage to all of those who have spread their messages of freedom and respect through their art.

-------- Eva-x --------

va-x is the drag queen created by Bruno Amadeu. He was born in the inlands of Sao Paulo State and has moved to the capital to finish his studies in Fashion design. He's been doing drag for 8 years and it has became his profession since last year. Eva produces her own costumes and also designs for other performers. We can find her performing on the stages of night clubs or at the door receiving the guests. She has great ambitions: she is ready to conquer more space gradually, until she gets to the world domination".

-------- Thiagx --------

hiagx is a performer that experiments different gender identities and possibilities of the body and appearances. He can be a fagot, a woman, transgender and monster. He does not promote the gap between "in drag" and "out of drag" and reveals the process of transformation. He comes from the outskirts of Sao Paulo and performs and survives between the center of the city and its suburbs. His actions show interest for sexualities and dissident sexual practices.

it's not personal, it's GOMALAKKA!!!

Gomalakka's lead singer Brakka in the performance at Tag Gallery, Sao Paulo, 2015.

Gomalakka's lead singer Brakka in the performance at Tag Gallery, Sao Paulo, 2015.

Gomalakka started in 2005 in our university years. Originally conceived as a performance collectif it has taken the shape of a rock band through the years. Today Gomalakka is Ciça Brakka (singer and song writer), Ale Vergueiro (drums), Flavien Arker (bass) and Renato Maia (keyboards). Brakka's lyrics go from post-feminist statements to love declarations. For this occasion at Tag Gallery, I took part in the performance with my synthesizer and some quick face painting! The live video projections are the work of the multimedia collectif Rizomatique. Photos by Ju Veiga.