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"Whatever Lola"
Katelena Hernandez

  • Project Space 613 Allen Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

In Whatever Lola, the iconic black satin gown worn by Rita Hayworth in Gilda extends to become a literal, spherical cage within which the performance takes place, lit by a single crystal chandelier;  a clear view by the audience is only possible through minimal gaps in the “petals” of the sphere. The performer can share the performance with the audience by adjusting the petals, but it doesn’t change that her serenade is a game of solitaire; she is ultimately tied to the heart of the enclosure and separated from connection with a wider world by the very object that transforms her into her temptress ideal.  (Or he; other performers will be invited to participate in this work, changing the gender and ethnic dynamics of the piece as they do.) Songs will be pulled from appropriate films and classics of the cabaret genre.

I find solid continuity of this piece within my larger body of work, since I explore themes of both creating and receiving comfort. For the performer, fantasy of transformation into an ideal —and its more elaborate popular- and counter-culture variants hero-worship, karaoke, drag, and cosplay — is a rich and vibrant form of self-comfort.  In parallel, the audience’s voyeurism has a pleasure, and a comfort, all its own.

Later Event: February 1
"Clean Cache"
Sean Ripple