Research Avatara Species Transformellae and the WordWideWitch. Constructed bodies harvesting psycho-realist knowledge

Lecture by Johannes Paul Raether (Berlin)
May 17th, 2016

Transformellae and WordWideWitch are just two of the multiple, fictional identities and hysterical-subversive drag characters of the artist Johannes Paul Raether. They are drawn from Raether’s cyclical performance system Systema identitekturae, in which he has been gathering embodiments as well as material and pictorial manifestations of social paradoxes and catastrophic political topicalities since 2009.

In an earlier version, the research avatar Transformella engaged with the assertion of an emancipatory potential of biomedical innovations in the field of assisted reproductive technologies. The now emerging techno-organic myth of possibilities of communal procreation and parenthood. In order to fathom such scenarios in the age of a globalized-industrial production of human progeny in a queer-futuristic way, the figure ventures to practically construct the »we«—the potential political subject that has hitherto only been purported in her repro-communal manifesto.

Johannes Paul Raether lives and works in Berlin. From 2006 till 2011 he was one of the organizers of the artist run space »Basso« where he participated in its collective performances. His works and performances have been presented, a.o., at KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn (2010), Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2010), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2012), Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin (2012), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013), Savvy Contemporary, Berlin (2014), Donau Festival Krems (2014), »Foreign Affairs« festival of Berliner Festspiele (2015), and at Friedericianum, Kassel (2015). Solo exhibitions, a.o., at Galerie September, Berlin (2011), Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2012), Ludlow 38, New York City (2014), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2015), and District Berlin (2016). Together with the duo Discoteca Flaming Star he has organised several performance projects and edited the book »Zeig Her, Führ Vor, Tausch Ein. Performance—Art—Academy« (2013). Raether has published with Texte zur Kunst and was a guest professor at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg in 2013. He received, a.o., the Villa Romana Art Award (2015) and is currently an artist in residence at the Leuphana Arts Program of Leuphana University Lüneburg.

In cooperation with the Leuphana Arts Program (LAP). The residency program of the LAP is being supported by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.