To the Finnish-Egyptian artist Samira Elagoz the Silver Lion of the 50th Biennale Teatro directed by Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte. The handover ceremony will take place on Friday 1 July, at 12 at Ca’ Giustian, followed by a conversation open to the public.
Samira Elagoz flirts with the infinite possibilities of performance to shape an original language and offers us – with the aim of experimenting his own changing gender identity as an expressive devining road – a unique brand of performance-reporting, multimedia happening and docufiction (Ricci/Forte)
We first met Samira Elagoz (born in Helsinki in 1989) at the Santarcangelo Festival in 2017. Their show Cock Cock… Who’s There? Was a documentary/ personal history hybrid, a theatre recital, and a straight-up show performance. Elagoz used several meeting platforms to establish contact with random people and investigate the themes of lust, man-woman relationships, intimacy, and violence. On stage, they showed a dramatization of rape. A punch to the guts, with a splash of irony thrown in. The performer’s presence on stage was candid and clean – a young woman’s presence. I remember lowering my gaze as the performance drew to its end: the video closed in on their face, ravaged by the assaulter. Elagoz explains that the mouth is the most intimate organ of a human, or of a mammal in general. We may sometimes overlook our sex, feel detached from it, though never the mouth.
Elagoz’s affirmation as a performer consolidated at Impulstanz, where in 2017 they were awarded the Prix Jardin d’Europe with Cock Cock… Who’s There?. The Egyptian-Finnish artist’s themes move continually between sex, gender, lust – a form of social archaeology that mercilessly investigates human beings. Everything is depicted very coldly, even rape. The narrator does not identify as the victim, but as part of the world the story takes place in. At the Theatre Biennale, Elagoz will present Seek Bromance, a piece on trans artist Cade Moga. The pandemic halted the development of part of their projects, but they are not unhappy with the result. The goal is to show trans people in their complexity, beauty, and lovability.