Stuckist Psychoanalytics Performance

    Iulia Benze is a London based performance artist; her body of work includes live art performances, installations, experimental film, multimedia, research.

Stuckist Psychoanalytics Performanc

My searches started to move on the right path when I discovered the concept of Stuckism, or better said the Stuckist manifesto. My Stuckist Psychoanalytic Performance technique promotes self-discovery quest for authenticity, calling for subjects like performer’s neurosis or unconscious, generating unseen psychological realities by means of novelty, shock, gimmick and Cruelty.
I strongly believe that the only performance act that makes a difference is the one that drives the audience completely insane, only to heal and curate 

A Question of Consent

qoc 10

Kan Bonfils (1972-2016)

Craft Theatre Company presented a harrowing yet physically gripping theatrical production ‘A Question of Consent’ at The Rag Factory, London in January 2014. ‘A Question of Consent’ ran from 10th January to 2nd February 2014 at The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage St, London E1 5LJ. ‘A Question of Consent’ is based on a true story created from the memories of a woman very close to the company. A few years ago, she was forced to move house, and then groomed and raped on a daily basis for a month of her life by an elderly man. How did she get out? How did she deal with the trauma after? ‘A Question of Consent’ is an account of how Stockholm Syndrome can occur, how circumstance can dictate identity, how the after effects of such a horrendous circumstance (Rape Trauma Syndrome) can be everlasting, and how she found the strength to prevail. Using exhaustion and memories as a template to create, Craft is a theatre company who is authentic, powerful, intense and grounded in the way they perform. As a company Craft Theatre spent long periods of training and exhausting their bodies and minds on a daily basis to create this dramatic thriller, which is underpinned by current studies in cognitive neuroscience. ‘A Question of Consent’ pushed boundaries of the “traditional theatre” to create an exciting and rich experience for the audience. Under the umbrella of Craft Theatre Company, ‘A Question of Consent’ is an artistic collaboration between director and actor trainer Rocky Rodriguez Jr, performance maker Iulia Benze, director and actor Kurt Murray and actors Lucas John Mahoney and Ryan Prescott.

Question of Consent was initially inspire by the work ‘Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!’ by Iulia Benze, the search for more answers and authenticity continues. Still based on psychoanalytic concepts as repetitive compulsion, estrangement and melancholia, the theme remains the same, the universal taboo of abuse, trauma and Stockholm syndrome; the frame changes, as well the interpretation and style of tackling. With a unique style of directing and actor training, Rod Rodriguez Jr. places the entire plot under the roof of Rag Factory, London, in a cold hospital-like room, very clinical and sometimes even pathological, on a floor with invisible square landscape, similar to the film ‘Dogville’. On this floor, four physical performers are creating with their bodies and interactions the inevitable platform of revealing a secret that is too dark to be kept, the one of rape, Stockholm syndrome and rape trauma disorder/’distortion’(could be added in my opinion).

Unwillingly, a different abuse was created during the rehearsals and the performance process, an abuse of actors by the director, of which the spectators are made aware gradually, consequently the audience asks about this in a Q&A that follows each performance. Exposure. The director and actors are aware, but it is not light heartedly recognized. Not as a general rule, but valid in this case, recreating abusive relationships translated into the relationship of director-actors as well. It is an ego-driven process based on people, masochistic and repetitive in one way or another whose self-esteem and artistry is lifted high up and then crumbled by the director. Two entities being stuck in their role play, getting an addictive pleasure from one another.

When dealing with explosive material, things tend to get explosive. The environment in which the artists tend to play with bombs should be a friendly protective one where stage partners talk, analyse, or are aware of the energies, dynamics and thoughts that are occurring during the process.  Openness as a process of everyone’s learning. Let’s face it; we all know the sayings: no light without darkness, sadness without happiness, no pleasure without pain, no gain without loss. As long as we are aware of our nature and the stand we are taking, it is a win-win psychoanalytic experiment that has at its end some very valuable universal human discoveries!

Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!

Meet Julia – a vicenarian female and David – a sexagenarian male. They are both stuck and fasten on their own traumatic sexual issues. Based on psychoanalytic concepts as repetitive compulsion, estrangement and melancholia, this project’s object is to tackle an eastern societal taboo through the exploration of intergenerational non-representational tasks.

Floor 23

The project started when the performer engaged in an abyssal self-exploration of emotions and mental abilities in connection to the embedded experience. I was obsessively evoking a particular trauma, until I realised that repetition became compulsion and the compulsion became the trauma itself, selling out the factual cause of my initial trauma. The circle of blocks had to be broken. Floor 23 explores just one aspect from the trauma: repetitive compulsion. I try to investigate how repetition – an essential component of any kind of performance, becomes a performative device in its own rights.
The binary ‘male/female’ and its unclassified derivate ‘unknown ‘are depicted through a phallic representation – the pillar, activating a new self-engendering of the performer.
Floor 23 is first from the series, having planned to deliver a new Floor performance every year until the age of 30.

Geoffrey Myers

This multimedia project is a performative tribute to my friend and artist GM. He passed away spontaneously in 2011, after having lived a solitary and traumatic life. As an outcast, GM lacked his family affection and his end was superficially commemorated by a small number of people. My performance became a rite of passage, one that I invented myself to keep his memory alive, to celebrate his live and cry his death. According to my home traditions, one must mourn its deceased close family members for one year. Therefore I have performed a one-year crying that was archived and displayed in his memory as a photographic installation. The archive kept track of my emotional transformations and the intensity of mourning as the time passed