Inferno returns this Friday with Sebastian Bartz aka Venice Calypso taking over the basement with special guests Joe Roberts and Jack France whilst upstairs Lewis G Burton brings his troupe of crazy club kids including Queen Judi and Chema Diaz at the decks. Also joining them will be the enigmatic performance artist Gender Prince who sat down with Lewis for a little tête-à-tête ahead of the party...
By Lewis G Burton
Who is Gender Prince?
I’m an artist and performer.
There’s a difficultly that when you have a tag as such, it's quick to assume that it’s a persona, but I don’t identify with the idea of those; it’s just an inflation of aesthetic, the same that exist in my day-to-day life, just on different levels. You could call it a branding decision.
What was it that made you want to get into drag and performance art?
I don’t really recall having a calling card; I’ve always performed in my academic studies. I think growing up, I was so repulsed by my body and who I was; and the way to really overcome that was completely open it up to the point where you couldn’t look away and learn not be repulsed. The power of our bodies; my body is like no other. My work is a documentation of my own hysteria in relation to that, and creating an aesthetic vocabulary that deems my ‘non-passible’ body as trans.
I think that’s why I’m thankful for drag, and the allowance we have in our own trans inclusive spaces. And although I don’t call myself a ‘drag queen’, the power, and energy of these insane, niche communities is like no other. We’re so blessed.
When was the last time you stole an idea from someone?
I’d be lying if I said never. Whether we are aware of it or not, those around us will always influence us; and that feeds into our way of working and living. It’s just a cycle that is rich and never ended.
You're curating a performance to Venice Calypso’s new track Malibu, how did this come about?
I briefly met Sabastian (Venice Calypso), at HOTBOX last month and with knowing Lewis G Burton; connections are made.
What can we expect from you on 26th June at INFERNO?
It’s going to be brutal, semi ritualistic. A creation, and a re-creation. You’re either going to fall in love or vomit.
You’ve recently finished your artist residency at S1 Artspace in Sheffield, what did you learn from your time there?
I’m so grateful for S1 Artspace for allowing someone like me, that doesn’t necessarily fit into their usual programmed aesthetic to have that opportunity. It offered a chance, to develop in a community that is nourishing and take the risks in a safe space that were required post university.
I would say, it also taught me that it’s okay to struggle, have your moments, and to exist in your own space. We’re artists for the rest of our lives.
What are your favorite tracks to get you in the party mood?
I can get into any performance as long as it committed. In this very moment, Tinashe is all I need.
How did you end up getting involved with INFERNO?
I was asked by Lewis, we’ve been aware of each other on social media for a while now and finally got to meet when I performed at Grunge, the Vagina Dentata zine after party. She’s crazy, and truly one of the most beautiful people I’ve met in a while.
Living in Sheffield you haven’t been able to experience INFERNO first hand, what are your expectations of the night?
Right! I have no words; just excitement for what we’re about to experience together.
Join Gender Prince this Friday 26th June for Inferno at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 3am.