Saturday, 16 July 2016

Christeene at Latitude II

Oi Oi Saveloy, and at some point it becomes a problem.


See, resistance has become an absolute these days. I'm sitting in the press tent at Latitude Festival and I can't help looking round the room and thinking  - check out the state of these poseurs. One dude walking about like he's Jesus, top off and neon pink shorts, flowers in his heart. And another with a big old camera (that lens is suggesting a penile insecurity, son), and a cashmere jumper. 

I can't wait until one gets sunstroke and the other heat exhaustion. It's going to be hilarious.

Anyway, last night I saw that Christeene. I'm a bit of a fan. Christeene bangs on about erasing gender, smelly arses getting licked and dirty sex fun. It's all very Dionysian, very queer and reuses to be reduced to a simple resolution. 

In the moment, I exalt in the libidinal revolution and recognise, briefly, a community of queers together in a space: not safe, but feeding their difference, being together and having it large. And between the down and dirty songs, Christeene makes speeches that affirm the primacy of desire, the right to be and want, the special nature of the live experience. Plus the beats are down and dirty, southern hip hop and that snake-like electronic bass beat that ripples up the spine.

Only it feels like a movement and I'm not anyone's follower. Christeene says 'you are all here, looking at me,' and I roll a cigarette. Christeene says that men are too busy wearing uniforms and I'm thinking about the cut of the suit I bought in the charity shop. Sometimes it feels like this is just another 'us' to set against 'them' and then, I don't give a shit.

Of course, that's some real queer heat Christeene is raising. It's the unacceptable alongside the liberatory. If I don't disagree it isn't queer... maybe there's a bit of me that needs to resist, that can't let go, but somehow the queer has to contradict itself, it has to be unstable, only capable of existing in perfect balance for a brief moment before it collapses.

Christeene's never going to reach beyond the devoted. Half the room clears when the dancers leap on stage. They know that they re the 'them' that Christeene's 'us' is going to threaten. And sometimes I feel like the privilege I play the rest of the time is threatened in this room, in this moment.

Just to be clear, in the moment, Christeene is an aesthetic joy and hell, art's supposed to make you think. And Emma Goldman could dig this  - this is a dancing revolution. Only, if I have to march, or fly the freak flag, it isn't my revolution. 

I'd rather sit back and snipe. And that's where it is a problem. Does the critical mind, in the end, devour itself? Do I demand that all art becomes as critical as my art? Is questioning more important, and the only thing I consider possible.

Go on. Tell me I just don't get it.

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