Maryam Hedayat, Judith Clijsters, 88888


In her multimedia performance Genderless, Maryam K. Hedayat explores the need for a new definition of gender. Genderless seeks answers to the question of whether and how we function based on traditional concepts, stories and clichés to identify male and female roles. Does dominant (visual) culture maintain ingrained thinking about gender? How are patterns of gender inequality honored and highlighted? How much do certain historical, cultural, popular and/or current views on gender still weigh in our thinking today? Can we break through basic thinking about being male/female? Can we create new archetypes? What definitions and concepts are there? Or should there be no definition at all? Should we strive for a queer society?

Through interviews, Maryam examines how language, imagery, culture and religion are responsible for a masculine or feminine connotation of certain concepts and ideas. How strongly is our image shaped by background and culture? What role do myths, fairy tales, archetypes play? What is the influence of ‘feminist’ writers such as Simone De Beauvoire, Judith Butler or Virginia Woolf? In this artistic research, Maryam K. Hedayat mixes interviews, new and old advertising and film fragments, new media and communication tools into a theatrical video installation. In an audiovisual landscape she creates a dialogue and points of view are released to the viewer. The audience finds itself in a multimedia landscape and is an active witness.