Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival 2016: Artist Suz Evans on Nabeela Vega/Thahab

Sunrise is Four forty
Glimpse gold glistening veil in the periphery; prelude. still shimmers and sways, still bounces the light like their ever changing eyeballs. Thahab, projecting infinite colors, steps into a Lyft.

A few interns, curator and Elaine are ready too. The shopping cart sloshing water buckets the curator says Oops and giggles wet with holy water. How many trips it took to fill that kiddie pool, not not trying to not to get people wet. Thahab wanders away, making a trail in their path.

They say ‘it’s Ramadan,’ in a store with undercurrent of prayers playing through small suspended speakers, a store with many objects but not a disposable camera. Into the sun
Stay gold stay gold stay golden - slow walk down the street. Cars stop for them differently - with more space and less drag, wheels silenced by the disco reflections bouncing off windshields. (Thahab is too much fun for you.)

Still gold stay gold stay golden
Still gold stay gold stay golden
Still gold stay gold stay golden

In a doorway next to the gallery, playing Queer Muslim on soundcloud, lighting candles and smoke bombs under the veil. the colorful smoke seeps out of the fabric; maps the spaces one cannot locate with their eyes. Are witnesses locating Thahab in a shallow media understanding of terrorism, and myself too yes?

Kissed me in, through the gold, the sun (Thahab) is on the rise. Pressure of tongue scratchy on bare lips, curve and dip of their facial planes. Peculiar mixture of exhilaration, exhibition, sexuality and shame. ( eye - I am ) xenophobic, lover, source of oppression, administer of love. Afraid of it and into it. Thahab (the sun) is on the rise and smells like smoke bombs.

Sprays on their feet together which makes this symbol, a mark of their tense, ritual call  

Kiddie pool on the sidewalk. Gold curtains veil the gallery doors. Chalk on the side alley wall. Queer Muslim playing from the speaker. Traces of their annointments; glitter trail, spray, smoke, altar candles. Thahab travels, losing sight of them briefly as they reappear (the sun) several blocks away; still gold. Glitter trails from their body. A man sweeps some into the street.

Sun still rising sitting in the window of the pie shop and eating delicious pie, two people take cellphone pictures of Thahab from outside. Goes to the pool, sits on a stool in the middle of the pool. It’s too hot, they get in. lounging w Elaine and Maria (who brings pizza beer and cigarettes)
Passersby are into it (it’s fucking hot outside, water looks great, a human relief overcomes confusion of surreal mirage in this instance)

Sun (Thahab) has peaked, wanders into the park? About and throughout the quiet neighborhood, people move out of the way and stare a bit. Watching people watch them, they are both respected and feared, sparking curiosity. The gold veil is real, it is art and not art, Thahab is rn, serious spectacular. Goes to the gallery, tall gold curtains hang and blow in the entrance. They step inside, turn on Queer Muslim playlist, introduce a wig of long black hair. Can only see their hands, Thahab strokes the hair behind the secondary golden veil, shines, moving with wind. The gesture continues for some time as a small audience accrues, sun begins descent.

Thahab rips down the curtains.

Back to the park, some people watch basketball and Thahab watching basketball.

Selfies with people maybe that will become a snapchat, digital relics untrackable.

Return to the pool on the sidewalk. People eat Cuban dinner as Thahab steps into the water, staying golden. Passersby ask questions, evening brings a different approach. What are you doing? Skeptical curious. Thahab explains, ‘mirage, surreal, xenophobia, durational, dusk to dawn, come in,’’ intimate moments hand in hand; friends, artists come into the pool, Thahab anoints the wrist with fragrant oil - Rose oil? They move their cheeks up to Thahab’s gold figure to listen to their voice. Get wet together, mirage together. People standing in line outside Beauty Bar wondering what the hell, having a collective experience of confusion and curiosity on golden veiled figure wading in pentagonal kiddie pool. some folks are taking cellphone images of Thahab from inside the glass walled entry of the bar, space of six feet maybe, but glass wall is enough separation. Some strange visibility metaphor is happening rn..

Almost sun down Thahab lets water out of the pool, presses out the inflation and walks back to the gallery. They meet a few folks in the side alley wall, but their chalk drawings (which have grown since) Thahab provides sparklers as the sun sets, plays music and Bowtie is dancing and we are smiling as they unveil.

Suz Evans is interested in distinguishing patterns of gendered behavior and thought through absurd social gestures. 

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