Performative Lecture at Frascati Issues “Mr.Mrs.Mx” with Florentina Holtzinger

Recently I gave my first performative lecture called “Recovery POST-PERFORMANCE of an AFTERTALK” together with the solo artist that I was speaking about, the dynamic young dancer from Austria, Florentina Holtzinger. florentinaholzinger_RecoveryHer gripping, sexy and messy show “Recovery” was also at Frascati the evening before. Together we decided to stage a fight between the artist and critic, using boxing gloves, since a kickboxing scene is that the heart of the act. And I used to kickbox a bit, but what a dream come true to go at it with Flo! Thanks to the Frascati artistic director, Mark Timmer,

for the invitation. The line-up included feminist academics like Margriet van Heesch, Stine Jensen, and Simone van Saarloos, as well as performance artist Brian Lobel. I definitely would recommend attending future editions of Issues, as they combine performance with dialogues and contributions from scholars and opinion-makers.

You can see Florentina’s site here.

And if you are curious, here are some excepts from the script:

– Hello I’m Dr. Eliza Steinbock. For a long time I was motivated to complete my Phd entirely by the new gender-free title of Dr that would replace either Mr or Ms, or even worse, Miss. Unfortunately living in the Netherlands means that I’m listed with the formal title of Mw. Dr. At the Frascati Issues on “Exploring Gender” we are discussing Mr.Mrs.Mx. I wish I could be Mx Dr… but that would require wide-scale cooperation from others.

-Sometimes gender is punishing. This is because most of the time it comes from how others perceive you, treat you, and you have very little say in this matter. Sometimes this feels like what others throw at you, or literally project at you. What you can catch feels ok, but all the other stuff just hits you. It can be traumatizing to have a lot of gender shit thrown at you.

– “Recovery” is based on a traumatic accident that happened during a performance. Strictly speaking, the performance failed when Florentina fell, but maybe her falling performance as a performance did not misfire. While hanging from a silk rope, the artist fell several hundreds of feet to the ground with a piece of ceiling landing on top of her. She was unconscious and rushed to the hospital. She cannot remember anything from the time when she was performing until waking up in the hospital.

-Florentina wonders if this accident didn’t fulfill one of our dirtiest desires as an audience to see ‘realtime’ enter into the performance with an extreme act of violence. What a messed up desire, right? But maybe the itch to experience real time violence, or a gross failure during a performance, is a desire for revisiting moments of total loss of control. Le petite mort, or the little death, is of course a favored euphemism for a sexual orgasm.

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