Louis(e) de Ville
‘t Werkhuys, 20u-22u30, avondprogramma
Ramada Plaza Hotel, 2u-2u30, after-party
Louis(e) de Ville tast in haar performances de grenzen af van mannelijkheid en vrouwelijkheid. Deze in Parijs gevestigde Amerikaanse is een klassiek geschoolde actrice en gender activiste. Ze ziet gender als een performance en speelt met stereotiepen.
Wij leerden haar kennen via TicKL magazine, waarin ze zichzelf voorstelt als “a performance artist who combines medieval morality-play techniques with carnival sideshow aesthetics, creates her own queer feminist propaganda, exploring and exploiting the visual vocabulary of gender. She has the power to make your heart race, your clit/dick stiffen, and your brain stretch with her provocative and subversive striptease.”
Haar act kondigde ze ons als volgt aan:
I’m going to do Las Vegas Masterbation. I will need a stage, lights, a chair, et…voilà!
It ends with a sparkling ejaculation.
Wij houden ons hart vast!
♥ ♥ ♥
Hieronder een tekst van Louis(e) over haar werk, verschenen in het laatste nummer van TicKL magazine (#4).
In 2000, I left the farm a popular cheerleader turned drama geek and hippie, already outspoken and a bit odd by small town standards, for the big city where I became a hot queer femme, a sex educator, gender performer and activist.
The old fear that too much education would ruin a woman for marriage was totally and happily true for me! At university I started doing Drag-King, learning about transgenderism, and exploring femininity as filtered through feminism.
I joined a Drag Night LGBT fundraising event held on campus. I was the only drag-king amidst Giant Glamour Girls, who gave me tips for cross-dressing; like how to make a penis from pantyhose and birdseed and to give the illusion of an Adam’s apple. I hid my hair under a cropped wig and thrilled at taping my tits down to swagger with socks or a rubber dick stuffed in my pants, getting a lot of attention from straight women, lesbians, gay men, and open-minded straight men. I acted cocky, but secretly I was intimidated by their expectation of male-me to be sexually aggressive. I didn’t yet take the “active” role in my sex life, still thinking too straight and vanilla, and I felt like I was advertising something with my big bulge that I couldn’t deliver. I was much more shy as a guy than as a woman. I didn’t want to be just another asshole dude profiting off of male privilege.
But on the other hand, I was able to push the limits on female aggressiveness, becoming a huntress, an ethical educated slut. It was as a woman that I experienced my “active” side by learning not just to fuck, bending over boyfriends and lady loves but moreover to be active in my desire; to pursue my pleasure with force and consciousness.
Also in university, I was part of a feminist collective that made buttons with anti-sexism slogans collaged with sexy images from Ladies magazines, and campaigned for the “morning after pill” while selling vagina shaped cookies (of various sizes and colors, all with a Red Hot candy clit.) In this crafty and consciences environment, I learned to construct my own femininity as a personal expression and not as a misogynist obligation for possessing a vagina. I choose when and where to shave, to be active or receptive sexually, to bake cakes and fix my toilet when it leaks, to speak my mind while wearing red lipstick. And this is why I call myself femme, a womanhood that defies patriarchal/heterosexual definitions while reveling in feminity.
Gender is a vocabulary of codes that we culturally designated masculine or feminine, and we label people male/female/straight/gay/ based on what their gender presentation says about them. I want people to be more eloquent with their gender, and to allow for the diverse expressions of others.
According to Judith Butler all femininity and masculinity are just performances anyway, so I took these theories to the stage, then clubs and bars for their accessibility to a more general audience. I left my modesty and clothes behind when I saw that taking them off could mean turning you on to queer theory, feminism, and pertinent political and social criticisms with humor and glamour. Yes, I admit, I use my tassels and girl/boy next-door good looks to hypnotize you to question the status quo.
Housewife, sailor, bearded lady, fag with tits, and chick with a dick are just some of the characters I use to challenge the binary gender assumptions and associated hetero-normality. For example, I grotesque the ‘goodgirl/badgirl’ paradigm and the “is IT a boy or a girl” question to the point we must realize the folly of such limiting categories.
Instead of rigid roles of gendered behavior and sexuality, I allow the audience to revel with me in a perverse and liberated sensuality, with shows that are glamorous and bizarre, innocent and vulgar, kinky and queer.
Today, I encourage other women to become active in their sex lives, hosting workshops for women, with themes like Demystifying Female Anatomy, Bondage, Spanking, Amour Anal, Fisting and Being Burlesque. I will soon begin filming a workshop series, Sexploratrices, with Wendy Delorme (my performance partner and best femme friend), and Emilie Jouvet, available in French. [Noot: we tonen een kortfilm van Emilie Jouvet tussen 12u en 18u in het 'xxx-films' programma.]
Being a performer from the stage to the street has made life a never-ending playground for social/sexual experimentation. Reader, I encourage you to cross-dress, and start cross-gender hobbies, take a sex class and express fully the beautiful nasty you!