Queer Art Videos by Katarzyna Kozyra

I went to a queer seminar about body, gender & identity and art videos by polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra in Aarhus, Denmark yesterday. Tina Ravn and Rune Gade talked about queer theory and Kozyra’s art videos which can be seen in Århus Kunstbygning until October 26 2008.

Kozyra is a straight artist. In Poland she is both loved and hated for making video queer performances and her works of art has been exhibited internationally. She is fascinated with metamorphoses and dreams about the ideal body and the ideal woman. I saw her video “Il Castrato” in which she is playing a male opera singer in drag who undergoes a ritual where her rubber penis is cut off in front of a gazing gay male audience. Her videos are humoristic and provocative, but “Il Castrato” leaves me wondering why she is staging herself as a gay boy who turns into looking like an asexual doll-like character at the end of the performance. I suppose that she is trying to blur society’s sexual categories, but not succeeding as the opera singer looses all signs of his/her gender.

Besides mentioning that Kozyra is working in line with a long tradition of queer/ gay & lesbian art the two speakers talked more about queer theorists’ studies of the dichotomy between man and woman and the sexual roles than about the queer “other” as an alternative to the modern society’s heteronormative norms.

See Kozyra’s webpage