Blood Babyis an iterative performance quadriptych exploring the intersectional experiences of gender performance, queer motherhood and parenthood, queer sexuality, and belonging. Presented in parts or in total, Blood Baby embraces performance, dance and somatics as expansive, extending beyond a discrete theatrical moment. The four forms--Carpet Womb, Communion, Primordial and Blood, Baby—can be presented together or accordioned apart, each embracing a distinctive aspect and materiality of the experience of parenting queerly through choreography, sculpture, and drag. Created and performed by a community of queer artists, Blood Baby enlists the perspective of queer parents to extend the physical materiality of gestation and gender into performance. Developed alongside a series of convenings, Blood Baby utilizes multiple materials and performative formats to unhinge the intersectionality of gestational experience, queer experience, and parenthood and bring distinct parts into relief.
Please relax your soft palate and perineum as you watch this video’s beginning, especially the velvet stretching and the shape distending. Make a low tone sigh.
Blood Baby is broad in its approach to unpacking queer parenthood. It does not culminate in a single performance but a series of intimate, public events. The whole project becomes a prism, bridging visual and experiential art, participatory workshop, and dance, using text, foam, fabric, carpet and site-responsive, durational, participatory, drag, performative sculpture devices. Tying these forms together will be a creation story/myth written by Oswald.
Carpet Womb: An environment of overwhelm and totality. A dance amongst viewers inside a small constructed room entirely covered in carpet so that every surface provides tactile feedback.
Communion: A spare theatrical environment. Responding to community conversations with queer parents, Oswald will create a text-driven performance to be enacted by both audience and performers.
Primordial: Alternative drag performance as a fabric rock, performed in various environments and presented through visual documentation. A durational, devotional somatic process of inserting oneself into environments, exploring one’s body, warmth, wild, and edge pressed into an earthly or architectural other.
Blood, Baby: A participatory somatic workshop with the sculptural and prop materials to share the choreographic practices of Blood Baby.
Throughout development and presentation, we will host convenings with queer parents to share their experiences of pregnancy, labor, and delivery in relationship to gender, sexuality, community, and what parenting queerly means to them. Their words will serve both as the raw material for Oswald’s text and as a backbone of the project, an ongoing reinforcement of Blood Baby’s critical orientation and the need for these conversations. Blood Baby will engage a patchwork of local networks, driven by connecting queer parents and communities and aligning the modular form with a particular venue’s vision and capacities, building temporary communities towards a larger national network. Post-presentation convenings provide a forum to advance the conversation.