Tuesday, October 26
Gray Area is pleased to present a virtual performance by Afro-Hungarian artist Huntrezz, originally commissioned for the 7th edition of the Athens Biennale. Her performance takes place in a virtual amphitheatre, which is built in a custom environment created by the artist and framed by various sculptural objects. Wearing a motion capture suit, all her dance movements are being screened and streamed. The audience is invited to wander and freely explore the online environment and its elements, and then the artist appears “as an avatar adorned in stylized armor” rhyming:
Unveiled biennale, holy grail eclipse
golly exalted derailed leaderships
post folly prevailing sailing space ships
hailing from Cali inhale post-Pokalypse (…)
Huntrezz Janos is an Afro-Hungarian trans-fem multidisciplinary artist. Living mostly in the metaverse, she has evaporated into the thin air of digital quasi-existence, neither exactly human nor avatar. Violent flashback to the present physical world, Hungary is currently the scapegoat of Europe, condemned for its anti-LGBTQ law. Prime minister Victor Orban is accused of suppressing freedom of expression. Flash forward to the virtual realm, we find Huntrezz fleeting our focal capacity like Silver Surfer. Is it the augmented reality or the augmented self that she asks us to confront? The non-binary fluidity of her presence could be downloaded, reconfigured, choreographed endlessly. It is this cyber-escapism and digital Resistance that characterises a new generation of futuristic guerrilla insurgents. With her bold abandonment of physicality, her embracement of her multiplied self, she becomes a new martyred digital Sufi spinning her avatar, or infinitely dancing like Salome the dance of the Seven Veils. There is something ominous and/or mystical about her evaporated dancing. It’s the encapsulation of time, the flatness of the screen, the nothingness of the bits that make this dance eerie. It is also a slap in the face of the seriousness of performance art, with its suffering body, the perspiration and the exhaling of self-importance. Huntrezz animates a new breed of art persona that is boldly superficial. The Art Movement Support/Surfaces comes strangely to mind. The rebelliousness of that group may resurface in a new Support/Surfaces digital movement. This time the battleground is not dissatisfaction towards art venues but the struggle against the physical world and its painful limitations. The limitations that Huntrezz is so fond of tweaking.
Eclipsatrix Exuvia is a performance first commissioned for the 2021 Athens Biennale, with production support from TRANSFER Gallery and SJSU CADRE.
Text by Poka-Yio, OMSK Social Club, and Larry Ossei-Mensah for the 7th edition of the Athens Biennale: ECLIPSE.
Huntrezz Janos (b. 1996, Los Angeles) is an Afro-Hungarian trans-fem artist with a degree in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. Huntrezz is known for mediating her inquiry into the layered nature of identity through simulation, augmentation and virtual reality work. Through her expanded practice across media, Huntrezz weaves a virtually augmented mythology of the self. She synthesizes sharp renders with anarchic vaporwave aesthetics to explore the fantasies of a Black, Non-Binary artist grappling with lived realities of systemic violence and exclusion.