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Angst Essen/Eat Fear / Uterus Man / Ex Nilalang

8 Apr (Sat), 4:40pm

Post screening conversation with Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra (founders of Club Ate) and Ulanda Blair (Curator, Moving Image, M+)
Angst Essen/Eat Fear (2008)
27 min, German with English and German subtitles, Digital, Germany

In Ming Wong’s condensed restaging of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Ali: Angst essen Seele auf), Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s seminal 1974 film about an ill-fated romance between cultural outsiders, the artist appears on screen as both Ali, a Moroccan immigrant worker, and Emmi, an older German cleaning woman, as well as all twelve secondary characters. Inspired by the strong Turkish presence in his adopted home city of Berlin, Wong’s playful and absurdist reworking of the film emphasises its themes of racial prejudice and economic inequality, while also challenging the fetishisation of Asians in the history of cinema and contemporary queer visual culture.

Ming Wong (Singaporean, b.1971) explores the intersections of language, identity, and performance in world cinema. He typically casts himself as every character in a story—playing male and female roles as well as characters of different ages and races—to bring underlying cultural and racial stereotypes to the fore.
Uterus Man (2013)
11 min, English with English and Chinese subtitles, Digital, China

Uterus Man is an anime-style superhero whose caped body and outstretched arms resemble a uterus and fallopian tubes; he rides a chariot made of a human pelvic bone, skateboards on a winged sanitary pad, and shoots ovum light waves at enemies. Modelled on the Japanese performance artist Mao Sugiyama, who in 2012 had his nipples and sexual organs surgically removed, Uterus Man challenges ideas of biological gender, genetic engineering, and human evolution within an animated, game-like environment. The Uterus Man franchise also features manga, cosplay photography, and an arcade videogame, all of which have been developed through online collaborations.

Lu Yang (Chinese, b.1979) produces boundary-pushing multimedia works that explore neuroscience, genetics, mortality, gender, and religion. A fan of popular culture with a fascination for sci-fi films and Japanese otaku culture, she enjoys the freedom, anonymity, and sense of community that online environments can offer. 
Ex Nilalang (2015–2017)
Featuring Balud (2015), Dyesebel (2015), Lolo ex Machina (2015), and From Creature ~ From Creation (2017)
35 min, Tagalog/Bekinese with English subtitles, Digital, The Philippines/Australia

Ex Nilalang is a cumulative performance-video project that transforms urban myths and traditional Filipino folklore into stories of queer resistance. In Balud, Tacloban performer Jai Jai reimagines a mananagaal—a hideous mythical bat-winged creature—as a complex symbol of queer sensibility. In Dysebel, trans artist Bhenji Ra embodies the mermaid character from a popular Filipino television series of the same name, while Lolo ex Machina sees an ancestral jeepney spirit summon the ghost of artist Justin Shoulder’s lolo (grandfather). From Creature ~ From Creation reframes the Filipino creation story Malakas and Maganda, setting it within a libidinous virtual Skyworld.  

Club Ate is a collective founded by artists Justin Shoulder (Australian, b.1985) and Bhenji Ra (Australian, b.1990) who draw from their own stories, lived experiences, and personal relationships as queer, bi-cultural Filipino-Australians. Club Ate espouses shared authorship, collective action, and self-representation in its art making.

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