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Amelia Bande I Will Stick Around presented with ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Sunday, August 12, 2018
2:00PM—3:00PM EDT
The Beach at Fishermans Path, Fire Island Pines, NY 11782
This performance reflected on the fact that poet Frank O'Hara died on that same beach in 1966. He was 40 years old. How do we take over from those who died too young? What’s our role as queer artists who try to build intimacy and community? It ended with me inviting all of us: organizers, other performers, the audience and myself to go into the ocean. It was a ritualistic coming-together, a celebration that we also questioned the conditions under which our lives take place. The threat are economical, social and political systems against us. But we are also accountable. Can we show up for each other? What does making a difference looks like? There is loud music. I walk, I stick the sticks in the sand and then I rest with my hands on the floor like that. When the music goes down, I begin: I just fell off a two-story balcony. No it’s not a joke. I really fell. And I’m bruised, but I’m also OK and this is what I prepared for you today: I used to do sex in the same way I smoked weed. Do as much as you can, and face the consequences later. But nowadays, sometimes sex is...too much. It takes too long. Kissing and taking our clothes off and feeling our bodies and what would you like? does this feel good? A lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice to have sex, obviously. But sometimes I just like to masturbate. In the shower. For me the shower is not only practical, but also historical. My first ever orgasm, which I had pretty late, was in the shower at my uncle’s. His bathroom had a proper shower head with a hose, and different massage settings. Good water pressure. And I was like, this feels so good on my shoulders, this feels so nice on my neck. How about here. How does it feel here? And I came in like a second and a half. I knew what it was and I knew that everything before it had not been it. I had three showers a day for the rest of my stay. It changed my life. Until my doctor prescribed...antidepressants. I would take my showers and do my usual thing, getting turned on as fuck, playing all my films in my head, all my exes having sex with each other in a loop, but nothing. Orgasm gone. Thirty-minute showers. Bad for the environment. Do you know what it’s like to masturbate under antidepressants? It’s like getting a clit transplant where the new one is made out of rubber and disconnected from your body. It mimics the plastic layer that covers your emotions. You don’t cry anymore. Taking the subway is no longer overwhelming. Is this a good exchange rate? No emotional outbursts at the expense of orgasms? I was at the library. I took this book off the shelf and it was Meditations on an Emergency by poet Frank O’Hara. Frank died here; he was was struck by a jeep on this beach. He was a queer man. He was 40 years old on that day, July 25, 1966. It was summer, like it is today. I am 41 now. I feel like I’m picking up where Frank left off. That’s what I want to believe. A few months ago my friends gave me a wooden stick as a gift. I moved my stick in a circle saying: I’ll stick around. Which meant staying with them. They laughed and made a video of me doing this and uploaded it to Instagram Live. So this is what I’m doing, I’m sticking around. The sea is always forming waves. It has never ever stopped. Just like us. We continue. We remain. And it might seem like an obvious thing to share this day, but let’s not forget, we are fucking drifters and people died for us to have a sense of freedom and people are still dying of queerness. Because Fire Island is nice and all, but it costs $40 dollars to come for the day and that doesn’t even include lunch. Oh, Amelia, don’t be such a downer! But we took the ferry and now we are here and if we don’t enjoy it, then what’s the point? So, can we all go swimming now? Together. It will feel really good, I promise. I’m going. Who’s coming with me?

Amelia Bande is Brooklyn-based artist from Chile working primarily in performance. She started her professional work in Santiago, Chile as a playwright, where she won the National Playwriting Showcase in 2006 and received a National Fund for Arts and Culture Grant in 2009 and 2010. Her plays “Chueca” and “Partir y Renunciar” were published by Sangría Editora in 2012. Bande has an MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU. Living in New York she began to work with fewer boundaries as an artist. Text is a starting point for her live and visual representations that include humor, music, and the body, often spurred by autobiographical information. Bande has presented work and performed at The Poetry Project, Artists Space, PS1, The Kitchen, Abrons Arts Center, Performance Space, Storm King Arts Center, Knockdown Center, Flux Factory, Tucson Jewish Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, Tang Museum, NgBK Berlin and others. She has taught performance and writing workshops at Skidmore College, NYU, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Wesleyan, and Bard Universities. Her written work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, leading to the release of “The Clothes We Wear” by Belladonna in 2017. She was co-editor of Critical Correspondence, an online journal of Movement Research 2017-2019. A cassette tape was released with recordings from early performance work by Infinito Audio in 2018. Bande has been an artist in residency at Shandaken Projects, Yaddo, and Fire Island Artists Residency in New York, and WORM Filmwerkplaats in Rotterdam. In addition to making art she works as a Spanish teacher.