Dordićeva 8a/II, Zagreb
House of Flamingo: Burlesque as an Performance-art Practice | talk
The sixth edition of the local drag festival DRAGram organized by the collective House of Flamingo focuses on burlesque, with a highlight on the “boylesque” genre of the artform, that is, male burlesque. Male burlesque performers have had to – just as female burlesque performers (and even men in drag) – fight various obstacles, including prejudice, stereotypes and ridicule, due to tantalizing choreographies or the sole fact that they are wearing sparkly clothes and covering their genitalia with extravagant jewellery. Today, boylesque is much more than a striptease-based dance; these artist employ neo circus acts, puppeteering, juggling, pole-dancing, pantomime, musical numbers, etc. At the event, there will be a discussion about masculinity, male burlesque, the feminization of art and burlesque as a performance art, with guests from Great Britain – Miss Betsy Rose and Dave the Bear, along with other local representatives of the independent cultural scene.
The event is organized by House of Flamingo, a queer artistic collective that has been active on the local cultural and queer scene since 2013. The collective’s mission is to create, empower and expand drag culture and the queer performance scene in Zagreb and the region. Due to the current rise in right-wing and nationalist tendencies in society and the focus of mainstream LGBTIQ activism remaining on the legislative social changes and life partnerships, and less on the community itself, the independent cultural scene offers a programme that provides a space of freedom, tolerance, mutual respect and creativity, for both the audience and the artists.
Luka Prelas i Tihomir Babić: Made by Our Bodies | music performance
Made by our Bodies is a performance piece combining poetry and improvised musical bits, performed by Zagreb’s resident artists Tihomir Babić and Luka Prelas. Their texts resembling slam poetry describe the conflict between them and their bodies as a means of establishing relationships with their own bodies, as well as with the bodies of others. Accompanied by an improvised musical backdrop of a saxophone and a guitar (and the potential inaptness that comes with it), they illustrate an unpreparedness for facing oneself and the arbitrariness of what we are, how we perceive ourselves and how we present ourselves to others. The combination of texts that talk about struggles and insecurities and the music that is fighting for its survival and form results in something foreign and unexpected.
Tihomir Babić and Luka Prelas are a self-proclaimed power couple that has recently embarked on merging their artistic practices. Tihomir Babić is a self-employed writer and guitar player, as well as a recent escapee from the corporate world of economics. He is a member of the underground pop band Vikend Revolucija and works as a columnist for the Croatian LGBTQIA+ portal Crol. When asked about his own identity, he describes himself as a “fag not interested in men” and a “professional flake”.
Luka Prelas is an artist currently living, working and studying in Amsterdam. She graduated from the Zagreb Academy of Music as a classical saxophonist. She also hopes to graduate for the second time by 2020 at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. She has been an active performance artist since 2017, she has been writing poetry about her bodies and love since 2012 and in 2018 she has joined the Creative Performance Lab in creating musical stage performances. When asked about her own identity, she says that she is a trans* girl that *sometimes* falls for fags.