Raja Feather Kelly
Ugly Part 3: Blue
Bright-blue Pop culture collage about being black and queer by a Warhol obsessed choreography-poet.
Raja Feather Kelly’s awards are in the realms of the superlative: two works with his choreographies, for example, are Pulitzer Prize winners (2019 »Fairview« and 2020 »A Strange Loop«). His own works, which he produces with his company The Feather Theory, are always somehow about the pop art icon Andy Warhol, to whom Gus Van Sant is also dedicating a production in the festival, and who found meaning in questioning popular culture. And that’s exactly what Raja Feather Kelly does in his social commentaries, often bathed in pops of colour. The UGLY trilogy is his response to the lack of nuanced Black queer narratives in the mainstream. After the first two parts negotiated the exclusion (BLACK QUEER ZOO) and the alienation (HYSTERIA) of Black queer subjectivity, BLUE looks at the ambivalence between self-love and that otherness. In a blue cosmos, it rains references from science fiction, comics and Wagner film adaptations, which merge into a visually impressive and atmospheric dreamscape that can also be considered a visual art performance.