"Disidentification" is an exhibition by the London-based artist and filmmaker Antonia Luxem, one of the winners of the 2020 international open call from the Center Stage project, whose main goal is to support LGBTQIA+ artists and curators.
Antonia Luxem’s experimental and abstract films are inspired by her interests in neurology, philosophy, human perception, thought processes and dream spaces. Recently her subject matters have expanded to include questions of queer identity. For Antonia, this creates an opportunity not only to rethink personal experiences but also to contribute to the expansion of LGBTQIA+ culture. "We need to have a voice and it needs to be an inspiring and powerful one", says the artist.
When creating her films, Antonia Luxem experiments with form through unusual filming and editing techniques and subverts common filmmaking structures, creating space for multiple interpretations. Luxem treats her films as channels to explore the body, different realities, unconsciousness, fantasies, dreams and magic. The "Disidentification" exhibition at Fragment Gallery is the artist’s first solo exhibition. Four film works are shown at Luxem’s exhibition in Moscow. As the centerpiece of the exhibition is an aesthetic video installation: "Dearest Degenerate" is a polemic, poetic and passionate letter that guides us through layers of visual metaphors, and addresses the close and homophobic person. The work was developed from material found in personal notebooks and diaries and inspired by books such as Didier Eribon’s "Insult and the Making of the Gay Self" (who also organized the first conference in France dedicated to gays and lesbians in 1997), and "Cruising Utopia", written by one of the most influential queer theorists, José Esteban Muñoz.
The exhibition is curated in such a manner as to show a wide range of topics that are covered in Luxem’s works. Thus, "Trance Duped" is a dreamlike journey that explores themes of bodily and psychic entrapment — the artist draws connections between the subjective reality of each human being and the uniqueness of their sexualities. "Ode au Temps" is a four-screen video installation which takes time as its starting point to explore the anxiety felt by the individual faced to the universe. "Cosmos Echo" is a work based on the human brain’s visual interpretation of sounds from space. The artist sees human perception as a combination of various thought processes: the brain, devoid of any knowledge about sounds from space, can only seek to interpret these using past knowledge, and it is only with repetition that new imagery is created, slowly replacing – or transforming – the familiar into the imaginary.
It is significant for the Center Stage initiative and its co-organizer, Fragment Gallery, to show the works of Antonia Luxem, who is not only an artist in her own right but also a queer activist, in Russia, a country where in recent years human rights violations have been on the rise, new discriminatory laws have been adopted and aggression towards LGBTQIA+ representatives have been steadily growing.
Antonia Luxem is a London-based artist and filmmaker.
Her work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals in the UK and abroad. Recent screenings and exhibitions include B3 Biennal of the moving image, Frankfurt; Swiss Church, London; Well Projects, Margate; Whitstable Biennale; Guest Projects, London. Recent film festivals include New York Independent Film Festival, New York; Underwire Film Festival, London; Traverse Video, Toulouse; East End Film Festival, London. She is the recipient of an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant, a-n bursary award and is a FLAMIN Fellowship alumnus.
Center Stage is a project dedicated to supporting and developing the careers of LGBTQIA+ artists. The first Center stage initiative began with an open call for artists in two categories: "Artists in early career stage" (with no age limit) and "Zine". The open call grabbed the attention of artists from all over the world with 75 applications from 21 different countries including from Russia, China, South Africa, Great Britain, the United States, Mexico, Pakistan and Singapore.