TRANS | MISSION
Text written by Dean Hutton aka Goldendean.
A billboard Pandora, projected larger-than-life, double rainbow emanating from their chest occupies the Cape Town skyline this winter season. Angel-Ho, a non-binary musician and multidisciplinary artist central to the South African queer cultural space stages a month-long intervention at CHURCH Projects.
Angel-ho performs as an “escape-artist”, a Diva officiating from the glitch precipice of culture – presenting “trans propaganda” through the expression of visual and sonic disobediences that blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality – challenging the “received truths” that keep us chained to matrices of oppression. Angel-Ho, already struggling at the intersections of race and neurodivergence, risks all in the transcendence of gender from the masquerading rituals of femininity and excesses of masculinity.
Their video installations, embedded with elaborate digital soundscapes, collaging, recoding and remixing camp aesthetics, create an archeology of experience for the audience to deconstruct the social, personal and emotional artefacts of their performances. They extend an invitation for the curious to explore the transhuman beyond the physical into the fantastic, to demystify perceptions of the so-called monstrous*, presenting an opportunity to unravel the trauma that coats our everyday experiences.
Angel-Ho snatches visibility at an important time for those of us seen as “Too Much” – brave enough to live openly as ourselves, complicated, vulnerable, imperfect, soft – dangerous, in the face of the obnoxious rise of fascism that wants to take people’s freedom, and access to spaces away. It is devastating that after so many years of advancements for human rights, the recent resurgence of fear-based legislation against personal and political freedom threatens to drive us from the public imagination – to lock transgender people in a box while ethically corrupt political leaders try to divert attention from their failure to end violence and improve standards of living.
Angel-Ho will stage live performances throughout the month of June in the project space at 58 Church Street, Cape Town.
Monster” is derived from the Latin noun monstrum, “divine portent,” itself formed on the root of the verb monere, “to warn.” Susan Stryker.