Marijke de Roover, Mike Massaro

Marijke De Roover, Live, Laugh, Limerence

Zabludowicz Collection
176 Prince of Wales Road
Event time
21 Mar 2020

Part of Hot with Excess: A Season of Contemporary Artists’ Opera, a special season of live events exploring the collision of contemporary art and opera, featuring Sam Belinfante, Beatrice Gibson, Trulee Hall, Richard Kennedy, Benjamin Orlow, Marijke de Roover and Alexandre Singh.

In Marijke De Roover’s new operatic performance Live, Laugh, Limerence, the artist questions the impact of how we culturally choreograph and organise the performance of love through heteronormative structures, through the clichés of rom-coms, musical theatre, opera, karaoke and Disney.

Songs often attempt to describe how we feel when we’re in love. And as they’re describing, they are also telling us how we should feel, creating norms we can compare to our own experiences. Opera specifically is filled with tales of violence; great passions tragically predetermined by social inequalities. These are usually crueller and more exclusionary towards women and other minorities occupying symbolically weaker positions of power.

The 'Tragic Heroine' was one of the key figures of the invention of an erotics of heterosexual desire, which emerged alongside the invention of homosexuality as identity. Her fatal flaw was her attraction to catastrophe; her other fatal flaw was her fidelity in love. As a result of the suppression of real women, culture invented its own representation of the gender, and it was this fictional "woman" who appeared on stage, representing the patriarchal values attached to the gender while suppressing the experiences, stories, feelings and fantasies of actual women. De Roover is interested in subverting this, and presenting a new kind of love that doesn’t have a precedent in contemporary media representation.

Doors will open at 18:00. Bar provided by Mezcal Union, serving drinks until 22:00.