SWEAT: the sky leaks I leak – A collective poem

Photo: Petra Söör, Into The Mountain research (2018)

In October 2019, we welcomed artist Edythe Woolley to run a workshop, SWEAT: the sky leaks I leak, as part of LADA’s DIY programme.

SWEAT aimed to cultivate an embodied practice of dyke/ queer resistance through a series of sauna sittings, walks, impulse writings and observation. Together, participants considered sweating and the intermingling of liquids as eruptions of resistance to and healings from, pervasive heteronormative culture.

Here we share a collaborative text by the workshop’s participants. Written in and around bodies of water close to SSW, the words were conceived through impulse writing and edited collaboratively, forming a collective poem from multiple queer perspectives and experiences.

SWEAT: a collective poem

Go get me a good view
Sit me loosely in your arm sockets
Hold us all tight.
A DVD of a fire place
window like a TV
landscape painting from a house in the Sims.

Am I not usually quite keen for mad creatures to jump on me?
Yellow pigment erotica or something dumb and tacky / cheesy / slutty like that.

Your belly sits there on your thighs, your skin all stretched and pushed out.
I’m in a TV show about a functioning family.

The only thing that told me that they were also making sounds was their hands and mine our voices silenced by the magnitude
Does the rock have secret inside parts where the good stuff is
I feel like this is the only door into the earth that I get and the only way is through a wrought iron metal shoot made for silage. Sweat and seabum my acid mantle protective layer. Sauna my layer thicker.
We need a flood this grief pours rage pours until it’s soft pours until it is soaked fur against fur
it’s time to lie down and sleep safe.

Daisy a nice name possibly for a child or pet but no it’s a white girl name.
Cold bitter hands and nowhere to put them, soft deep breaths with hiss and steam going down into your chest.

3. talk about bodies – shame and if labels help or hinder that.

How stealth we’ve all become quickly slipping into cover and now my breath is slow
oh, you lovely queers. I imagined what it would look like underwater to see half bodies and bubbles and
plumes. Who’s mouth is this?
Eight little lumps tiny bruising angry dudes ready to bite

I could tumble down from there and it wouldn’t hurt
saggy hands long fingers curl neither a boy nor a girl but bent and soft.
What happens from here? Is it about sinking

tongues in throat
fingers deep burst gently bust
marshmallow flakes
dampness seeping through my layers

Let me tell you about the time that I grew knuckles like baby teeth, bone and nerves and cartilage they were new and so soft they belonged to me. Rounded and smooth running, gracing over skin hairs on end. We had the tightest hugs competitive, bruising, and hoped that it would hide how soft we felt.

DIY is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run unusual research, training and professional development projects for themselves and other artists, supported by Live Art Development Agency.

2019 is the third year SSW have participated in the DIY network. Collectively we understand DIY is all about creating spaces to explore new ideas and test new methodologies. We want to hear from you if have an idea for an exciting, innovative and idiosyncratic professional development project that offers something different and is geared to the eclectic and often unusual needs of artists whose practices are grounded in challenging and unconventional approaches, forms and concepts.

Previous DIY at SSW include:
DIY15: Project O – How do we deal and how do we do better/do us?
DIY 14: Performing Landscapes

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