Affect Alien is a video-portrait of a creature who hovers on the margins of the promise of happiness. Sarah Ahmed points out that perhaps we should re-read melancholic subjects, the ones who refuse to let go of suffering, who are even prepared to kill some forms of joy as an alternative model to the social good.
Sotiria Bellou was a pioneer of Greek rebetiko music, a radical personality, an outspoken activist and an openly lesbian. She was good friends with Yannis Tsarouchis, the famous painter known for his queer erotic and political paintings from the early 20th century. In the video work, the sense of longing of Sotiria Bellou’s lyrics is combined with the melancholic butterfly boys of Yannis Tsarouchi’s paintings, both of which are transformed into a poetic confession that travels through time and resonates in the present.
Starting from the idea of imposed happiness and how it can become an unbearable burden to one’s subjectivity, Affect Alien embraces failure while bringing all the above aspects together in a direct dialogue with the experience of queer trauma, in Greece, 2021.
Affect Alien was commissioned by the Alphawood Foundation in Chicago for the parallel screening program “Codes of Radical Persistence”, part of the exhibition “Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life” at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago, Illinois, 2021.
Video & Installation
06:55, Full HD, Color, Sound
Costume Design Materials: Synthetic vinyl, pvc textile
Commissioned by Alphawood Foundation of Chicago, 2021