Blue hours. Three nights on fluidity

Event series with lecture performances, screenings, texts and music

Participating artists: Pauline Boudry - Renate Lorenz, Sharon Hayes, Gideon Horváth, Gyula Muskovics - Csaba Molnár - Máté Janky, Paul B. Preciado, Lili Reynaud-DewarCurated by Gideon Horváth, Gyula Muskovics, Borbála Szalai, Judit Szalipszki

Like the blue hours, that refer to the transitional period between day and night, Trafó Gallery's series of events focuses on fluid approaches that are in a state of perpetual flux and transformation, allowing space for intermediate positions outside of systems defined by social norms and binary oppositions. In the course of the three-day series of events, the boundaries of genres and roles will dissolve into each other while the installations, performances, film screenings, talks, music and theoretical texts will amalgamate into fluid nights. 

Detailed programme
1 June 2023 (Thursday) 7-11pm

Máté Janky, Csaba Molnár, Gyula Muskovics: The Last Hour
lecture performance (90 minutes)
Venue: Trafó Gallery, 18+, English friendly

The series Blue Hours series will kick off with an immersive performance by Máté Janky, Csaba Molnár and Gyula Muskovics, incorporating dance, text, video, installation and experimental electronic music.
In the course of the evening they will explore the position of queer monsters in our homonormative society through film, visual art and literary references. The term, coined by Lisa Duggan in the early 2000s, refers to the conformist, mainstream gay and lesbian milieu and its politics of assimilation that support heteronormative values. The adoption of such ideals leads, according to Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, to the deradicalisation and, therefore, the death of gay culture.
The lecture performance The Last Hour is based on the essay entitled A person who functions normally in a sick society is sick himself by Gyula Muskovics, in which the author analyses, among other things, LaBruce's 2008 film Otto; or ,Up with dead people. The film's radical feminist character, Medea Yarn, directs a political gay porn zombie film because she believes that it is the only logical response to the toxic system we are forced to live in. The Last Hour is both a tribute to LaBruce's work and a reference to the work of queer classics such as Charles Henri Ford and Derek Jarman.

In addition to the installations presented in the framework of the lecture performance, Klaudia Janusko's work Begin the awakening you've always wanted (2022) will also be on view.
Surprise film screening

2 June 2023 (Friday) 7-10pm

Gideon Horváth: On the essence
Lecture performance and installation
Venue: Trafó Gallery
"I'll tell you a lie, but I want you to believe it! Two days ago, at dawn, a spring of water emerged with irresistible force in the gallery. The hot steam of the hitherto latent thermal water finally escaped and filled the whole space. The intoxicating medium of minerals makes us all dizzy. In the billowing vapour, our boundaries blur, our rules become meaningless and dissolve. What are we left with? I'll tell you a lie, but I want you to believe it! The water of the spring dried up. Instead, slowly but surely, pure essence is bubbling up. It's thick, hot, sticky, dark amber, dangerous and unleeching. Let us gather around it, since I tell you a lie, but I want you to believe it." (Gideon Horváth)

The performance starts at 7pm,  late arrivals will only be admitted after the performance.
Paul B. Preciado: Orlando, my Political Biography
Film screening (98 minutes), in French with English subtitles
Venue: Trafoclub

The film blurs the lines between reality and fiction. The director expands Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando: A Biography, in which the main character changes gender midway through the story to become a 36-year-old woman. He organizes a casting and brings together 26 contemporary trans and non-binary people, aged 8 to 70, to play Orlando. Preciado reconstructs the stages of his personal transformation through authentic voices, writings, theory and images, in the search of the truth. "Every Orlando", he says, "is a transgender person who is risking his, her or their life on a daily basis as they find themselves forced to confront government laws, history and psychiatry, as well as traditional notions of the family and the power of multinational pharmaceutical companies." The film emphasizes, "if 'male' and 'female' are ultimately political and social fictions, then that change is no longer just about gender, but also about poetry, love and skin colour.
Informal discussion and listening club after the film in the gallery

3 June 2023 (Saturday) 2-10pm

Hangover Reading Club #14: A monster speaks to you - On the philosophy of Paul B. Preciado
The reading club session will be led by Kata Dóra Kiss, a student of the PhD programme in Critical Psychoanalysis at the University of Pécs and artist Gideon Horváth (in Hungarian).

The reading group will focus on Paul B. Preciado's controversial lecture entitled Can the monster speak?. In November 2019 Preciado was invited to speak in front of 3,500 psychoanalysts at the École de la Cause Freudienne's annual conference in Paris. For his lecture, he drew inspiration from Kafka's Report to the Academy, in which a monkey tells an assembly of scientists that human subjectivity is a cage comparable to one made of metal bars. The transgender philosopher used a piquant tone to illustrate that for his audience of analysts he was no more than a test subject, a "mentally ill person" suffering from "gender dysphoria". Preciado wanted to draw the audience's attention to the fact that the binary thinking of human psychology in relation to the ideology of gender, sex and sexual difference dates back to the colonial era. The lecture was left unfinished as Preciado was eventually booed by his audience. Snippets of the lecture, filmed on smartphones, was published online, where fragments were transcribed, translated, and published with no regard for exactitude. The full text, which is also the focus of our reader, was finally published a year and a half later by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

In the frameworks of this reading session, we will seek to answer why Preciado's lecture had such a disturbing impact on the analytic community; how the subversive language he used relates to the content of his speech; and how it reflects a critique of essentializing science.

4pm / 5:30pm / 7pm / 8:30pm
Sharon Hayes: Ricerche: Three, 2013 (38 minutes)
Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz: I Want, 2015 (two channel video installation, 16 minutes)
Lili Reynaud-Dewar: Rome, November 1st and 2nd, 1975, 2019 (42 minutes)
Venue: Trafó Gallery

In the third episode of Sharon Hayes' multi-film series Ricerche, Hayes interviews students at an all-women’s college in Massachusetts. The all-women’s college is considered to be obsolete by some, while others look at it as a safe and progressive institution; a milieu that is open for dissenting opinions, and that offers safe space for experiences of and experiments with changing identities. In Hayes’s polyphonic video, ideas, fantasies and expectations concerning gender, cultural identity and the all-women’s college environment are articulated, while the personal opinions and experiences are filtered through the social context that provides a framework for them.
Ricerche: three uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1963 film, Love Meetings (Comizi d’Amore) as a methodological guidepost, in which the director interviews passers-by, students and workers in different regions of Italy, mapping their opinions about love and sexual habits, including  issues that were considered to be taboo subjects.

The protagonist of Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz's video entitled I want – played by Sharon Hayes, the author of Richerce: Three, that is also part of the screening programme – addresses us from multiple positions. In a monologue composed of words based on a script that includes texts from punk poet Kathy Acker and from former intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, the different roles slip into each other in elusive ways. The notion of the self is implied as something in dynamic flux, conditioned by external and internal processes. The film‘s „I“ seems to dwell in a time and place of post-identity while at the same time juggling the violent burden of not only one but multiple defiant identities from different times and places. 
Boudry and Lorenz's video also draws on Kathy Acker's practice and poetic strategies of appropriating and recombining text fragments, but the work does not limit itself to only working with textual quotations and borrowed characters: the setting of the video refers to an early reading by Kathy Acker in 1977 in Canada.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar's film Rome, 1er et 2 novembre 1975 also uses the method of re-enactment: with the participation of friends, colleagues, collaborators, and the artist herself, Reynaud-Dewar stages the last interview conducted with Pier Paolo Pasolini, made before and on the day of his death. In the video, Pasolini's reflections on fascism, education, violence as well as on the relationship between subjugator and subjugated are interpreted by civilian contributors. In the second part of the film, the relationship between Pasolini and his lover, Pino Pelosi, who later became his murderer, unfolds, recalling scenes from Albert Ferrara's 2014 film Pasolini. The sound and visual cuts of the film result in a fragmented narrative, constantly jolting the viewer out of the certainty of knowing who is speaking and from what position. The relationship between the protagonists of the film is also difficult to disentangle since the multilingual dialogues are structured by relations of subordination and supremacy.

"We are all in danger." – Pasolini proposes this title for the last interview made with him a few hours before his death, lending a particularly uncanny quality to the conversation. What kind of danger lingers above us in 2023 if we understand identities as solidified constructs? And how can we adapt to the fluid state of being that fundamentally defines our times?

The films will be presented in English or with English subtitles. The 90-minute screening programme will be screened four times, starting at 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm and 8:30pm.

The entrance is free to all events of the series.

Image credit: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz: I Want, still. 2015. Performance: Sharon Hayes. Courtesy of Ellen de Bruijne Projects Amsterdam and Marcelle Alix Paris  
Box Office opening hours:
  • Main hall performance days: 5 pm - 10 pm
  • studio and club performance days: 5 pm - 8:30 pm
  • other days: 5pm - 8 pm
Trafó Gallery opening hours:
  • From Tuesday till Sunday: 4pm-7pm.
  • Main Hall performance days: 4pm-10pm.
  • Closed on Mondays.
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