Target Date: Autumn 2018
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, Love’s Frontier, 1918 looks at intimate relationships between men at the end of World War I. This work’s underlying proposition is that the carnage experienced during the Great War had transformative impact on the men of that period and created an existential context that questioned much of what was presumed as essential to previous notions of masculinity. Given the fact that 8,410,000 French men were enlisted over the course of the war and the fact that, unlike elsewhere in Europe, homosexuality was legal under French law, it can be assumed that there were significant numbers of loving, sexual relationships that were forged at the frontier. Research for this project will explore the extent to which that proposition is supported by artifacts and other evidence of intimate same sex relationship that developed in the arenas of war.
With planned presentations in the autumn of 2018, initial concepts propose that Love’s Frontier, 1918 will take place after dark in the colonnades, planted gardens, seating areas and allees of the Palais Royal, an environment that had a long history as the site of transgressive sexual behavior. Dimly lit by a variety of LED illuminated objects, lamps and costume accessories, an environment will be created for movement-based interactions that will take place in repeated sequences. Partnered and romantic, these movements will clearly underscore the intimacy of the relationships among the soldiers/actors. Disabled as well as able bodied individuals will be sought as performers. Prostheses and assistive devices will become key factors in the “choreography” of this piece. Performing a score that is based on musical traditions that were popular in 1918, live musician will be positioned throughout the gardens of Palais Royal.
In addition to unearthing a little known history of same sex desire, Love’s Frontier, 1918 will seek to illuminate the realities of love born in the context of combat over the past century. Costuming will be a mix of uniforms from WW1 as well as those from other wars that followed including current international soldiers uniforms. At that center of three seating areas, around the sculptures bases, texts from letters between wartime lovers across the century will be shown on LED screens. These letters, as well as participants in the various aspects of the performance will be directly solicited through newsletters of Paris based LGBTQ organizations as well as social media. While it is assumed that the majority of participants in this project will be cisgender males, Love’s Frontier, 1918 hopes to include a wide range of narrative content expressing non-conforming sexual desire.
Through the use of QR codes, viewers of Love’s Frontier, 1918 will be able to explore aspects of the work being performed in greater depth through the app that has been established for all of the component parts of This Dancerie.