In Rara Avis I explore the diversity of identities I developed during the last ten years of my experience of immigration. This performance is an attempt to bridge the gap between cultural binaries of normality and abnormality; national identity and hybrid identity caused by globalization; inclusion and exclusion; superiority and inferiority; North America and Eastern Europe. Who do we become in this simultaneous and self-contradictory process towards globalisation and nationalism that takes place all over the planet. Where do we belong to in the continuously changing world? Who are we stretched between the multitudes of cultures and traditions lacking stable belief system and fixed points of departure?
In Rara Avis I enact the struggle between these multiple and often contradictory identities and concepts. I manipulate my body and my face to reflect on complex psychology of immigration. Creating identity rituals each reflecting specific aspect of immigrants’ life-style, I question the very possibility of stable subjectivity promoted in dominant politics of identification. In the performance, Slavic pagan rituals, stream of consciousness, and spontaneous play co-exist with late-capitalist standard of “proper” self and attempts towards its deconstruction. This performance is a manifesto for all people stuck in-between identities – racial, national, gender, sexual, and political. It is a search for acceptance and reconciliation, and a proclamation of existence beyond binary thinking.
Photo Credit: Polina Ryabova, Maria Vinogradova
Interactive Performance, Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA, 2017