BAREBACK

15 November, 2018 - 19:00

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BAREBACK. Fenomenología de la comunión

[BAREBACK: Phenomenology of Communion] 2010

15.11.18 – 7 pm

This reading was originally conceived as the closing performance of BAREBACK: Power and death (2010), which took place at the former chapel of la Casa de la Misericòrdia in Palma de Mallorca. The speaker, dressed in the clerical attire of a priest, delivers a personal and theoretical address, a form of self-reflective homily or sermon, accompanied by an image of a billboard showing an unmade double bed with the hollows left by two heads in the pillows. This image documents artist Félix González-Torres’s Untitled (1991), a public-art project about private loss, a memorial to the artist’s partner who had recently died of an AIDS-related illness. The text begins as a reflection on the experience of the act of lending authority to the voice and announces itself as a series of digressions around its ostensible topic: the practice of unprotected sex and the homosexual “barebacking” subculture, in which the risk of HIV infection is considered irrelevant or even desirable. The speech hinges on the elision of the words community—in particular the gay community—and communion. While acknowledging the Christian ceremonial connotations of the latter, the text more abstractly deals with communion as the intimate union of feelings and bodies, and the compounding of the private, political, and philosophical spheres in the life and work of individuals such as Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, and the speaker himself.

Performer: Manuel Segade

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