Multidisciplinary artist Gylee Chris and working group (ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS)

154000 €

With Forests in Our Mouths: Speaking Queer Utopias into Being

Taiteellinen työ / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kaksivuotinen

We are applying for working grants for two years, from January 2024 to December 2025, for artists Aslan and Chris Gylee. Working together as the Queer multidisciplinary performance collective ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS, we will create and present the project With Forests in Our Mouths: Speaking Queer Utopias into Being. We will bring together live performance, filmworks, sound installation and publication to explore multiple visions of Queer utopias. We will use Queer biography, speculative fiction, and auto-ethnography as the raw material for this two-year project. With Forests in Our Mouths is a ‘constellation artwork’ and each chapter offers an entry into the artistic enquiry of the overall work. It can be accessed in various times and places and in various different combinations. Audiences are given space to overlay their own interpretations and to make their own connections. The stories we will tell are Queer myths brought back from a place that exists outside of time and place — a forested planet, ghosts from utopias of the past, journeys through time and space, sex and starships, strange grammar. We ask: What if Queer people had brand new words to speak with? What if we had a place that we could truly call home? The project is an urgent attempt to imagine kinder, more accessible, and more sustainable futures where Queer bodies can thrive; it is an artistic attempt to answer the question: Where do we go from here?; and it represents a radical reimagining of our working practices, freed from the limitations and demands of the boom-bust cycle of short-term funding models. For With Forests in Our Mouths we will be based in our rural home and studio in Outokumpu, North Karelia, with research trips, residencies, and public sharings taking place in locations locally, across Finland, and internationally.