A conversation with Alizé Rose-May Monod

The answers were created in conversation with Anna Marcus and translated from German by Fiona Glättli. I would like to thank Anna and Fiona, and AFFDP for their great work and energy.

Gesendet: Mittwoch, 1. October 2020 um 12:40 Uhr
Von: "Alizé Rose-May Monod" alize.monod@gmail.com
An: "AFFDP" info@isit.online
Betreff: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interview with ISIT.magazine, much love

I / what's your greatest inspiration? 02

My accomplices, my allies. I see a great inspiring force in the queer-feminist connection. The manifest Interwoven Lines Manifesto (2017) was a way for me to thank my accomplices for the inspiration. I dedicated the manifesto to them.

II / In your opinion, is it a question of practices to adapt to body beauty models, or of practices to enhance, or to go beyond the limits of one's own body, or to create an aesthetic that is not in line with the normative canons of beauty? 06

Body modifications have a subversive potential. You can either reproduce ideals of beauty or you can break with them.

From a cyber-feminist perspective (cf. Donna Haraway, VNS Matrix, Rosi Braidotti, among others), for example, body modifications are not here to conform to a cis-hetero norm, but rather to overcome it through self-optimization. A kind of body hacking. Becoming a cyborg. I am thinking of the Quimera Rosa Collective and their project “Trans*plant”, a process that involves a transitioning (with intravenously injected chlorophyll) between humans and plants. How can I modify my body with nature and technology and thereby break with the binary “human-nature“, a core precept of colonial relating?

But the first body change is actually to not understand the body as the embodiment of a gender. To separate the gender from the body. Queering the body. This is how the artist Anna Marcus, my partner, and I started the work INCLUSION (2018). We developed non-binary toilet signs for cultural and art institutions that depict what is in fact to be found in the toilet room, instead of which bodies are "allowed" to enter the space.

III / Have you been influenced by changing technologies? 05

Of course.

In my current work, I use cyberfeminist theories that arose in the context of changing technologies and as a reaction to the cis-male dominance (of this area). Cyberfeminism deals with certain power relationships that also take place and are reproduced in virtual space. I ask myself how an appropriation of virtual space, thus of public space, can happen.

(Btw, I just ordered the book Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto by Legacy Russell and I’m really looking forward to reading it!)

Changing technologies can enable access and connection. For example, Instagram can be a way of connecting for queer communities. In a culture of increasing individualism, "connection" is a powerful force. CONNECTION_S (2019) is a work by Anna Marcus and myself , and was created while I was in Cairo, Egypt, on a six-month Artist in Residence. Almost every day, we skyped and recorded our conversations. How can intimacy exist within geographical distance? How can technical, structural and emotional blockages be dealt with? The conversations in the installation are soundless. What remains is the visual and emotional connection - the audience is invited to get a glimpse of this queer intimacy.

Making queer-feminist issues more accessible is fundamentally important to me in my work.

IV / Would you say your themes and interests have remained consistent? Has your viewpoint developed as you’ve garnered more personal experience, both of life and of art-making? 05

I am consistent with the topic of feminism in my work. (Maybe is feminism my medium?) However, this remains fluid and I test different materials and media: How can I create connections between different feminist and queer concerns? Sometimes I want to reappropriate a material or a medium. I play with the material in relation to the matter I am addressing.

My personal experiences influence my "interests" and my approaches and are very present in my work. I work close to, and with, the personal. For instance, my queer identity influences my work not only formally (queer gaze), but also in terms of content. My research during the Artist in Residence in Cairo has also shaped my artistic and curatorial practice, especially with regard to the white colonial gaze: What images are we as white artists and curators “allowed” to produce and show? Images are not harmless, and representations matter and cannot be viewed independently of the prevailing balance of power.

My work is about the connection between public and private space. “The private is political, and therefore public.” Territorium (2019) is a short video that deals with the terrace as a space in between. The terrace is not yet entirely in the public space, at the same time it is almost no longer part of the private space. What rules apply in this space?

V / where do you feel the most like an outsider? 03

When I move outside of my queer-feminist bubble. When an exhibition is, once again, filled with works by white able cis men. Feeling like an outsider is a feeling that must be endured in situations like those if I want to stay true to myself.

VI / how do you feel you are perceived? 01

As a feminist killjoy! :)

VII / Are you conscious of when you walk right up to a taboo in your work? 08

Yes, because I address mechanisms of discrimination in my artistic and curatorial work. This can lead to the recipients being confronted with their privileges. And this confrontation can be uncomfortable, and in this respect, a taboo.

VIII / do you consider yourself as a feminist? 02

Yes. I consider myself an intersectional feminist. A queer-feminist. Or a cyborg.

IX / Do you think the works form a cohesive whole? Is each one seen differently, as part of this whole, than it might be, seen alone? 05

All of my work is part of a cosmos. They work as independent microcosms and as one macrocosm. My work is not structured linearly; it breaks with the norm of consistency. For a curator, this not-knowing-what's-next may not be easy. It probably takes a lot of trust from both sides.

I like the idea of a queer "non-linearity", the different work rhythm and various directions it brings. The linearity makes you more predictable, easier to grasp, which again makes you an easier fit - you become more controllable. You somehow become a product.

X / what's a performance or a dream gig that you'd love to do? 02

Sometimes I get the feeling that I already have so many projects and ideas, and just not enough space and resources (time, money, etc.) to realize them.

I would just like to have an entire art space or an entire institution available so that I can work generously with space and material. I would like to invite accomplices and curate our exhibition together.


01 / Interview with Donatella Versace

02 / Interview with Lady Gaga

03 / Interview with RuPaul

04 / Interview with Bill Viola

05 / Interview with Bill Viola

06 / Interview with Orlan

07 / Interview with Orlan

08 / Interview with Lana Del Rey