“How do we make explicitly alive queer pasts across spaces and times? What is the place of the erotic and the intimate for doing so? How do those vital thinkers who are no longer with us live through?”
queer slow dance with radical thought is a collaborative project that seeks to challenge the archive through interventions in white, gay male dominated space. Using the term “forequeers” to encompass the queer thinkers who came before them, artists Alvis Choi (a.k.a. Alvis Parsley) and Heather Hermant have created a performance that deals with issues of intimacy, the transmission of knowledge and memory, as well as the relationships between physical bodies across histories. It is the long-term goal of the project to build a transnational library to aid in transmitting the radical thoughts and histories of our forequeers. .
In queer slow dance with radical thought, Choi and Hermant themselves serve as library items for loan, recounting the histories orally into participants’ ears while slow dancing. The duration of each performance depends on the length of the memorized archival record. Considering the local landscape in which the project is to be performed, the artists will expand the parameters of queer slow dance with radical thought by incorporating more performers from the Calgary community to enrich the library. M:ST 8 will be the fourth installment of queer slow dance with radical thought.
Heather Hermant made her initial start as a spoken word artist, but over the course of her practice has to come to work with video, installation, site-specific and durational performance, theatre, social practice and curation, with an interest in the intersections of land, archive, and body. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a SSHRC doctoral fellowship for her PhD in Gender Studies completed at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, working with an eighteenth century story of gender and other crossings (2016).
Alvis Choi a.k.a. Alvis Parsley questions how their role as an artist can give life to the archive and by extension, disrupt and reinvent the history of place and space in the minds of the public. Choi obtained their Masters in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto (2016) and is a collective member of Marvellous Grounds, a SSHRC-funded project that researches queer of colour spaces in Toronto. Choi’s work has been shown in Canada, Hong Kong, Faroe Islands, and the United States.