April - June 2022 — Performing Arts
As a multidisciplinary artist whose work draws inspiration from vulnerability, femme identity, blackness and queerness, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] is interested in exploring new experiences that come with the human body in relation to strange sites, alien objects, toxic materials and unfamiliar sounds.
Va-Bene will be an artist in residence at PROGR in Bern, Switzerland from April to June 2022. This marks a return for the artist to the site of their first performance in Europe.
In November 2016 Va-Bene was invited to participate in the BONE Performance Art Festival under the theme dada Africa. Va-Bene was inspired by the question of rebirth, colonial representation of blackness and Africanness. Va-Bene developed the public performance rE-gen-er-at[e] which confronts the ‘will’ to survive by re-examining the body’s vulnerabilities to human violence. Since then, Va-Bene has been contemplating the political implications of such public performances and how these become an intervention and open conversation to revisit the political and historical references to black and queer bodies in public spaces across the globe. Va-Bene explains, “I am interested in revisiting Bern and meeting artists and locals whose practices engage political questions that can help me reflect and reimagine what it means to be political in our time and among the new generation.”
The residency will also provide Va-Bene time to engage with the history and culture of Bern, and investigate how one might resituate “live bodies” in social and public sculptures that may allow audiences to be confronted directly with performance art and contemplate their vulnerabilities. Va-Bene is interested in connecting with local artists from Bern and its surrounds to activate collaborations that could result in short films, live performances and installations.
Titled Ill-E-Girl BODY , Va-Bene’s project questions the criminalisation of those “bodies” beyond the wires of heteronormativity seeking to exploit their own sense of being and spirits. The project will make use of improvise techniques and methods to address the urgency of performance as an attitude, process and life.
Born 1981 in Ho, Ghana, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] works and lives in Kumasi. crazinisT employs the pronoun “sHit”, and is a multidisciplinary artist, founder and artistic director of perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) which is aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers. As a performance and installation artist, crazinisT investigates gender stereotypes, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized groups or individuals. With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, crazinisT employs sHits own body as a thought-provoking tool in performances, photography, video, and installations, ‘life-and-live-art’ confronting issues such as disenfranchisement, social justice, violence, objectification, and more. crazinisT artisT received a MFA (AbD) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).