So I had the opportunity to have a funded research for my next creation. I researched about the persecution of LGBTQIA+ in modern times and in the western world, since I am a part of that world. I felt that I couldn’t do it any more justice than that since my background is white and Eastern European.
I tried to find common points in-between this topic and Arthur Miller’s play THE CRUCIBLE. A modern witch hunt as you may like to put it. This actually led me to research more about ballroom culture and this furthermore led me to club culture. It’s quite a lot to sum this up in short here, I just wanted to use this platform to show you first visuals that actually made it out of this working process.
I put the knowledge and all that I was planning into photographs that either took alone or with the help of Frederike Coors, a fabulous friend of mine who joined my physical research at FREIRAUM Düsseldorf.
All in all we discovered that we want to move on with the project and we will be showing the outcomes in August at Goethe Bunker in Essen, so be prepared.
In my last Instagram post I talked about men and toxic body images, a lot of men don’t want to talk about mental health and the image of a “manly” man that is put upon us by media.
Everyday we’re surrounded by hunky looking men, who don’t seem to show any emotions and are there solely to look handsome and be the protector of a tribe. But why? Men can cry, men can show any emotion, men can be delicate, feminine. We come in all shapes and sizes and it shouldn’t be anyones goal in life, regardless of their gender, to look like a carved out marble statue.
Is it nice to look at? I’d say yes, but also my perception has been changed and molded by the society surrounding us.
I’m no different to anyone else, and also I do think: who am I to say anything? A cis white gay man.
But then again I do have a history of eating disorders that started in ballet school, when I was told that I was too fat. Teachers told me I would jump higher, look better and so on if I would loose weight. I was 18 and believed every word, all I wanted is to be a dancer. That drove me right into anorexia nervosa. While I was getting skinnier with each week, restricting my diet to first one jar of baby food, then to a slice of toast a day, suddenly my teachers got afraid that I might get an eating disorder. I was way too deep by that time, I sought professional help and made it to a somewhat healthy relationship with food. Was I cured? No.
There is no cure, no quick fix, a part of me always has regrets after eating, I contemplate wether I should eat this or that, it’s always there. On the other hand I’ve learned to live with this toxic voice in my head and I do know that it’s not good for me, that I need food to keep my body going and I also love cooking and eating at the same time. So it’s a constant balancing act.
During the pandemic I worked out a whole lot, sometimes up to 5 hours a day. It kept me busy, it kept my head in the right place and helped me to stay sane while I just wasn’t allowed to do my job. I sort of plummeted into a form of sport bulimia. I saw the changes my body was going through, I was building more muscle, I was getting more defined, I really liked it so I started fearing that I might lose it all. So I tried to compensate anything I ate by working out. That led up to 5 hours of sports each day. Suddenly I realized that I was back in ballet school.
I’ve grown up, I’m in my mid thirties and so my eating disorder has grown with me. It evolved and I am facing it once more. I’ve reduced the amount of sports I do, I still work out a lot, because it does help me to stay sane, but I’m not trying to compensate.
Still I sometimes feel like I don’t look “good enough”, that I’m too fat, and I’m well aware that some of you might think this is fishing for compliments, but I do see me body differently to what people see from the outside. It’s a learning curve every day, and probably until the end of my life. One thing is clear: I need to respect my body and listen to it carefully, because I don’t want to end up like I did 16 years ago. I love my body and you should too, whatever the shape and size.
How do you define your faith and sexuality with one another?
I personally left church over 10 years ago. I didn’t feel like the institution could give me what I need to actually believe in something. My faith doesn’t need an institution, full of old white men, who make me want to believe that I’m living a sinful life by just being myself. I don’t believe in a hateful god, if there is one.
I’d rather believe there is some kind of energy out there, something we might never understand. It doesn’t guide us, it doesn’t look down on us, it’s simply there. If there is one thing that I did learn from the Bible and all the stories that are told in there is that we must encounter other beings with love and compassion. Trying to understand the positions others are in, wether it is another human or an animal, and respecting their feelings and their way of life.
My personal conclusion is that we don’t need institutions that are poisoning people’s minds, intoxicating them with fear and hatred and forcing everyone to believe in exactly what they think is right.
Let’s all start practicing a faith in love and compassion, then maybe we could actually see how me make other beings suffer, or the planet altogether, and change our behavior, which does come at a prize, but I’m more than willing to pay it.
Things are moving. Although we’re still in lockdown it’s been quite a busy time. HomoPol has got my full attention and I can’t wait to bring all my new ideas to live.
HomoPol has been selected to premiere at Europe in the City in Düsseldorf. It’s an event taking place all around the city, probably virtually, showing the diversity of Europe. More and more collaborations are coming up and I’m very excited to be representing the many voices of LGBTQ+ people in Poland, showing their situation to the world.
At the same time I joined a newly formed collective of artists that are researching the topic of identity. We’ll most probably exhibit our outcome in August in Cologne.
How does one make a dance or theater piece or film?
It is a multilayered process that for me personally has no real structure. Sure, you might say I have a structure inside chaos and there still is a structure that I use but at a certain point all the steps melt into one.
For instance right now I’m working on my short film HomoPol. I finished my residency, already before that I was writing down ideas, watching documentaries, talking to friends and reading a lot on the topic. During my residency I streamlined all of this content, while producing even more content by interviewing people myself and making choreographies, based on the knowledge I had obtained. So every day I had more material.
I started filming certain things, rehearsing others, I was basically making a mock up version of the final result, throwing things out that didn’t feel right. Right now I’m at a point where I’m planning how to shoot different scenes, thinking about angles and cuts that make most sense with the contents.
Simultaneously I am working on two different projects for the future, preparing, writing grants, gathering information. And so this whole process is a never ending story of making a lot, streamlining the important and most appealing bits and then questioning these again until you have a polished result.
I thought it might be interesting to hear about my process and how I make my art. It’s just a short glimpse into my world and there is so much more to say about this, but this is it in short.
My residency at FREIRAUM Düsseldorf is done. It’s been a hell of a ride and I came into contact with so many openhearted people, it was incredible. All these experiences influenced how I was creating and preparing.
During the last 2 weeks I was constantly creating dance material, writing texts, listening to music, thinking about camera perspectives and listening to many, mostly sad, stories from the Polish LGBTQ+ community. It made me realize that I need to be more active in actually fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and making stories visible. I strongly believe that art can change how people think, it can open up a whole new world to the spectator and break down walls. So I guess this is the road I now must take.
I’ve been so fortunate in my life and this is the time to give something back. I can also announce that the short film will have music by Polish DJ and activist AVTOMAT. I still feel like I’m dreaming, dancing to his music has been a huge privilege to me and I can’t wait to film the dance scenes.
So how does it go on? My process so far melted most steps together, I was filming a lot, editing already, trying different color grades, recording texts, but next up I will film the 2 central dance scenes in the short film. I found a beautiful atelier in Wuppertal and I just can’t wait to start. But for now I have 3 more weeks of rethinking of what I actually did in my residency, talk to fellow artists about it and revise my ideas.
Wow, so actually my Instagram Account was deleted by Facebook and I couldn’t login anymore and now it’s all gone.
After raging yesterday I could actually setup a new account. You’ll find me as boi___toy. Here’s to new beginnings!
Amidst all this chaos I had an amazing Interview about my project today, I’m overwhelmed by all the positivity coming my way in collaborators and people who support my work. It can only get better now, hopefully…
Actually I wanted to make a post about women’s rights today, to address international women’s day today. In these trying times it’s needed much more than ever. Women still don’t posses the same rights men do, they have to fight against discrimination on so many levels and their fight seems to be endless. It’s on those times where communities have to stand together against aggressors. We won’t be silenced and every voice needs to be heard. Your body is yours, how you look and feel, who you love, what you do in live, can’t determine what society sees in you. It’s not that we need more genders and more acceptance, we need to understand that the concept of gender is outdated and that we need to be loving and caring to each being on this earth.
Yes, sure, we need much more acceptance, and kindness, but we mostly need to see that we all are humans and however we look does not change the fact that our bones, guts, muscles and organs looks the same. We all feel and we need to fight the old white men together!