2016 - 2018 Mónica Lacerda: "Do your dreams touch you?"
Mónica's 20 minute presentation for CONSTANT CRAVING ~ PERFORMING UNDER CONDITIONS - DAI's 3 day graduation lectures marathon, June 2018 was entitled
Constant craving has always been craving
The space is altered again; now the room is cleared of all chairs. As Mónica invites everyone to get comfortable, sweaty bodies start moving around on the cool green marble floors, some hudle together, others lie on the ground solo. The lights are out and the room is quiet, Mónica disappears behind a black curtain. As the audience is still getting comfortable, music starts playing, we hear k.d. lang’s entire song ‘Constant craving’ of which one of the repeated lines is: “constant craving has always been craving”, which is also the title of this performance.
The music slowly fades out. A disembodied voice begins: “constant craving has always been craving, performing under the tale of a scorpio dyke”. The audience is listening with their eyes closed. Mónica starts telling a first person narrative, a dream of a sexual encounter with the scorpio, a tale where bodily desire is expressed through bodily language of speeding heartbeats, cum, dizzyness, hands, contracting muscles and arched backs.
“Desire takes over each of one of my veins, it dilates them, blood flows rapidly, speeding up my heartbeat”, the curtain where Mónica is standing invisibly behind is moving every now and then with a light wind breeze. During the performance, the curtains keep pushing through, slowly engulfing some of the people lying nearest to it. After Mónica stops speaking and the room falls briefly silent, we hear a live sound recording of a k.d. lang concert, where the singer introduces the song we heard in the beginning: “If you should leave here tonight, feeling not quite sated, (no not satan), feeling unfulfilled, please remember that this is a human condition.”
Maria Lind opened by commended Mónica on the braveness of the work: beginning by inviting people to lie down (after a heavy lunch), by wanting to convey particular feelings, but perhaps most of all by doing something that might be the hardest thing to do in art: speak about dreams. Artists who have related the biographical or highly personal in their work, Maria mentions as possbile references, Louise Bourgeois, Catherine Opie but also Emily Roysdon, whose multi year project Ecstatic Resistance ties into Monica's work and what she wanted to address but through different modes.
Bassam El Baroni
Following up on Maria's comments, Bassam opens by remarking that he appreciated the link between the narration of a dream of a sexual encounter and craving at large, craving as human condition. In addition, he notes the history of politicizing the sexual encounter as an interesting approach to develop the work further. As an example, he mentions the Sufist tradition of Islamic poetry, using the sexual encounter as a divine ontology but also as a social and political ontology, which could be an interesting research exploration for this work.
Marina opens by saying that she was reminded of larose's performance during last year's Graduation and that she found the performance quite moving. This performance seems an exploration of the public dimension of the trajectory queer dreams, where Mónica and larose are working towards turning a personal exchange into a platform. She follows this by stating that the work evoked a feeling of collectivity in the room, already noticable during the first time the song is played. This gesture was strong and Marina is interested to see how this work and trajectory further develops.
Learn more about Mónica Lacerda’s written MA thesis: Porous Bodies and Queer Dreams: Reclaiming Non-Rational Knowledge
Learn more about Mónica Lacerda’s "life after DAI" by means of Mónica's website