Hommage to Diane Torr

Selected performances
Stork Migrations Control food and you control the people The Moor May Go* Genealogies Ritournelle Compulsion-Attaque Dawdle A Space Made For Giants Eier haben Odem She's all dressed up for peace Cabine
Reel crusoe Aus den Trümmern des Paradieses Exhibition: Forschungswerkstatt - Kolonialgeschichte in Tempelhof und Schöneberg In Arcadia: How Soldiers Become Mermaids Trümmerberg Kilimanjaro
Hommage to Diane Torr Squat Monument Heraud-Baumann Reflektor Forum theatre in prison: “zukunftsmusik” Shifts- Investigating Scores Dealing With Normative Gaze In Performance Art
Portrait of Bárbara Santos for her book ://aboutblank Sans Titre, 2020 Spring Champs Père et Fils / Father and Son Sans Titre, 2021 Au dessus, 2019

An hommage to Diane Torr in the frame of:
Transitioning  Art, Politics & Technologies of Gender Change June 17–19 2022

with two events:
A PANEL "Diane Torr: Performing Gender, Beyond Gender"  Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat (Artist & Art Therapist, FR/DE), in conversation with Stephen Bottoms (Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, University of Manchester, UK).


PANEL: Diane Torr: Performing Gender, Beyond Gender
Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat (Artist & Art Therapist, FR/DE), in conversation with Stephen Bottoms (Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, University of Manchester, UK).

This panel is dedicated to life and work of Diane Torr – a performance pioneer whose innovations proved pivotal in the development of transgender arts and culture. Scottish-born Diane initially trained in dance before moving to New York in the 1970s, where she became part of the emerging downtown performance art scene. Combining elements of movement, text, installation, film and video, Diane's work persistently explored questions of gender as performance. In the 1990s, she became internationally renowned for her drag king performances and "Man for a Day" workshops, which taught participants how to pass as male in the outside world. The workshops attracted many kinds of participant, and for some became a key step in their longer-term journey of transitioning.

In this panel, Stephen Scott-Bottoms and Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat will lead through something of Diane’s artistic process: how the journey of her art and life brought her to investigate non-binary approaches to gender and sexuality at a time when the term "transgender" had not even been invented yet. The items for consideration include dinosaur skeletons, aikido training, gogo dancing, and the songs of Dusty Springfield. 

Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat got to know Diane after reading Paul B. Preciado's book Testo Junkie. Having taken part in a Man for a Day workshop, she became an assistant to Diane, a co-performer, and a friend. Diane entrusted various objects and materials to her for archiving, and following Diane's death in 2017, Anaïs felt that she had to find a way to present them in public and bring them to life again.

Stephen Scott-Bottoms is a UK-based historian of the New York theatre and performance scene, who became friends with Diane after she moved home to Scotland in 2003. He worked with her to co-author the book Sex, Drag and Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance (2010), which documents the history and impact of her work, and places it in historical context. They remained close friends, and after she passed away, Stephen wrote Diane's obituary for The Guardian, at the request of her daughter Martina.

Tatianna Bazzichelli, also closed to Diane Torr, curated this 27th conference of the Disruption Network Lab and made this event possible.

With this panel, Anaïs, Stephen and Tatianna hope to honor the memory of a remarkable artist and a dear friend, who made a profound difference in so many lives.

Sex n Drag n Rock n Role: A Selection of Films in Homage to Diane Torr introduced by Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat.

With: Bartholomew Sammut (Founder, XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin, DE), Stephen Bottoms (Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, University of Manchester, UK), Helen Varley Jamieson (Artist, Producer & Performer, NZ/DE), Laura Meritt (Sex Activist and Researcher, DE). Moderated by Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat (Artist & Art Therapist, FR/DE).

“I loved Diane a lot. She was a very special friend, and she really knew how to be a good friend.
Diane Torr was ahead of her time. A great performance artist, mom, queer, gender pioneer. She was one hot babe!” - 
Annie M. Sprinkle

This event presents video works from and with  performer, director and drag king pioneer Diane Torr. Connecting to the panel “Performing Gender, Beyond Gender”, opening the TRANSITIONING conference, the screening comprises for the first time extracts of documentaries, performance documentations and film essays reflecting the manifoldness of Diane’s experimental journey towards gender and sexuality in different artistic and historical contexts. From ‘80s experimental pieces to late career video works, we experience the filmed body at its core following Diane Torr on her artistic path of developing new narratives on the erotic, the androgynous or the state of ageing, among others.

Man for a Day (2012, Katarina Peters)
Venus Boyz (2002, Gabriel Baur)
The Deadman (1989) by Peggy Ahwesh and Keith Sanborn, featuring Jennifer Montgomery, Diane Torr and Ramon Quanta la Gusta.
Martina's Playhouse (1989) by Peggy Ahwesh
Open for Flavour (1994, performance and film presented among others at Theater het Liefje with students from the School for New Dance - SNDO in Amsterdam)
The Undergrad (2003, Mickey R. Mahoney)
Donald does Dusty (2006) by Diane Torr, performed for Glasgay Festival Commission at Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Eier haben (2013) by Diane Torr with Anus B. Haven, Kai Simon Stoeger, Viola, Anaïs Héraud, performed at transmediale.
Mountain Men and British Birds (2006, Diane Torr)

The screening was followed by an open discussion with Bartholomew Sammut, Stephen Bottoms, Helen Varley Jamieson and Laura Méritt, moderated by Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat.
The title of the screening is inspired by Diane Torr’s talk “Sex n Drag n Rock n Role” and performance, that took place as part of GENDER LAB at Emmetrop in Bourges (France), on November 29, 2012.

A special thank you goes to all of Diane’s friend and colleagues that helped finding video material, allowed the showing of the films and gave their time to discuss, recall and acknowledge Diane’s pioneer work: Ruth Peyser, Peggy Ahwesh, Annie M. Sprinkle, Mickey R. Mahoney, Lizzie Olesker, Stephen Scott-Bottoms, Martha Wilson, Gabriel Baur, Bridge Markland, and many more...

↑ Top