monstersa multi-disciplinary artistic project by Valerie Reding taking the shape of a performative multi-media spatial installation comprising 16 large format staged photographies, a painted triptych, a soundscape and textas well as a visceral performance combining contemporary dance, music and spoken-word-poetry Exhibition at TOXI SPACE in Zurich from 8th of February to the 29th of February 2024.
A dimly lit room filled with vibrant banners, revealing mysterious humanoid creatures, seemingly floating in space, gazing at you - sometimes. A colossal painting, inviting you into a dreamlike landscape with strange figures, lurking in the shades of a deep forest, standing close to one another - calm, powerful and proud. An eerie sound is haunting the air - if you listen closely, you can hear their voices. And if you are patient enough, you might catch a body moving through this strange universe - disturbing and freeing.
In collaboration with Lausanne based painter David Weishaar, Los Angeles based composer Tyler Holmes and Berlin based sound artist Lou Drago, the transdisciplinary artist Valerie Reding created the project monsters to conceive a multi-sensorial space to share the stories of people that have experienced abuse in interpersonal relationships - stories that are so often silenced in our society.
Combining performance, photography, painting, sound and text in a oneiric and compelling multi-media spatial installation that references surrealism and camp, exploring authenticity through artifice, monsters reclaims - with an empowering gesture of reappropriation - the monstrosity that is projected on anyone who speaks up against abuse (of power) and systems of oppression. Related to positionality, intersectionality acknowledges the complex interrelations between social identities and systems of power.
With this concept in mind, monsters is not only an inspiring celebration of the liberating power of one's voice, resilience in the face of adversity, healing, community, collective care - and love. It is also a profound, sensitive and thought-provoking reflection on the interconnections between interpersonal and societal power relations.
artistic direction, concept, performance us, photography, costumes, make-up, spatial installation & text: Valerie Reding
painting The Heart Is Our: David Weishaar
soundscape: Lou Drago
music for performance us: Tyler Holmes
people portrayed & texts: Aron Smith Bast Hippocrate Pauline Canavesio aka BORA Robyn Cloé Iyongo Salou Sadras William Cardoso
lights: Thomas Giger & Valerie Reding
ceramic objects: Kwadrat by Luka Stamenkovic
costume assistance: Nahuel Mendez
photography & production assistance: Nicolas Dubosson
communication & visuals: Valerie Reding
production & administration: REDart partners
financial support: Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung (CH) Fondation Émilie Gourd (CH) Fondation Été (LU) Fonds Respect (CH) Grand Studio Bruxelles (BE) Kanton Zürich - Bildende Kunst (CH)Kultur | lx Arts Council Luxembourg (LU) LOS - Lesbenorganisation Schweiz (CH) Migros Kulturprozent (CH) Ministère de la Culture Luxembourgeois (LU) Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte - Cliché II (LU) Pink Cross (CH) Stadt Zürich Kultur - Tanz (CH) Toxi Space (CH) TGNS - Transgender Network Switzerland (CH) TROIS C-L Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois (LU)