Trauma Bondage

Live concert featuring M. Lamar and No Bra

The appreciation and affirmation of pain are part of the basic structure of sadomasochistic practices and dynamics. Closing 3hd 2021’s “Power Play” edition, the “Trauma Bondage” live concert adds value to the understanding of the transformational potential of power and control, trauma and recovery. The event takes place on October 10 at Kleiner Wasserspeicher—Berlin’s oldest water reservoir built in 1877 and for a time the site of a concentration camp during its 75 years in operation. Its complicated history as both a city’s life force and place of unspeakable cruelty frames the abstract and subjective experiences of the world, which can be transferred into a concrete language and made accessible for reflection in the public realm. These hybrid musical performances by the two artists presented address play within trance-like-states that are a mix of dark electronic sounds, opera, poetry and ecstatic pop music.

The subtle systems and structures that govern our everyday interactions are pulled into focus as part of “Trauma Bondage”. In enactments such as artful bondage, the bonded person responds to and experiences contradictions and ambivalences, such as traumas and emotional injuries, in a controlled environment. No Bra (aka Susanne Oberbeck) uses potent imagery in reflecting her own objectification. Topless and unmoving, she confronts her audience. The performance artist, producer and musician understands the dynamics behind being looked at, while shifting the attention she elicits through her own vulnerability to an experimental space for developing alternative identities outside of normative structures. A subversion and transgression of conventional standards of beauty, gender and sexuality, her “Love & Power” performance—and namesake to her recent third album—recognizes the hidden transactions underpinning sex and money in the mainstream and makes them explicit. 

M. Lamar’s “Race Play & Colonial Sexual Fantasy” environmental multimedia video installation and musical performance, meanwhile, explores the maintenance of white supremacy in the pornographic imagination and psyche of the U.S. nation-state, and its effects on every aspect of American Life. The New York-based composer identifies a link between the phantasm of black male sexual terror in the white imagination to the racialized patterns of police violence. The hyper-sexual, hyper-physical black person in the white supremacist mind offers virtuosic pleasure and threat. Working across opera, metal, performance, video, sculpture and installation, M. Lamar crafts sprawling narratives of radical becomings. “Trauma Bondage” presents such conscious shifts in meaning across pejorative actions and asymmetrical relationships, as a push towards self-empowerment and freedom.

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Image by Jon Lucas
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Venue

Kleiner Wasserspeicher

Diedenhofer Straße
10405 Berlin