7 = 8 – Aura Fonseca (Italy), 45 min.
7 = 8 is an “immersive and ethereal performance,” an introspective work “about the body, mind, and soul.” We are the observers in this deconstruction of the body and its meaning.
Aura is a transdisciplinary artist whose work fuses visual art, performance, theatre, and dance to explore gender and sustainability issues. In 7 = 8, her focus is on the self and how the four natural elements integrate with the way we live as we sleep, bathe, dress, and go about our day.
Our gaze feels voyeuristic, but as the artist explores time and space through a prologued meditation and introspection, it provokes questions on who we are as well as who and what we are viewing.
7 = 8 is a very personal and very vulnerable piece of work, an installation that uses almost imperceptible movement, symmetry, and sound. It retains simplicity while remaining a profound celebration of the body athletic, authentic, and beautiful.
Walking on Spectrum – Juliana Heng (Malaysia), 25 min
“A medley show that explores different ways to tell one’s life story through stand-up comedy, spoken word, and storytelling.”
Juliana Heng is non-binary, Asian and autistic, and all three aspects of their life inform Walking on Spectrum. As an accountant turned stand-up comedian, the product of a depressive father and a narcissistic mother, Heng has a lot of material to draw on.
Heng has a very direct performing style, with a deadpan delivery and a sense of how literal the world can be to an autistic person, they give their own perspective on life.
Job issues, social distancing, neurotypical perceptions (“I’m an autistic person who hates maths”), and yes, the pandemic are all included in Heng’s set.
A piece about a special friend (“a part of me, the voice of my autism” reveals thenes of support and acceptance of who we are. About being special, not about being disabled (“not disability, but different ability”).
Heng shows a fierce sense of independence and a sideways perceptive of their differences, drawing out the unconscious prejudices many have about autism and what the neurodiverse can achieve.