Timing sex in the age of digital reproduction: Gerard & Kelly's kisses

Autumn 2017

This essay focuses on a set of performance pieces by Tino Sehgal (Kiss, 2002) and the performance duo Gerard & Kelly: You Call This Progress? (2010); Reusable Parts/Endless Love (2011), and Kiss Solo (2012). Using a bootleg verbal description of Sehgal’s live performance in a museum space, Gerard & Kelly re-enact and critique it in their own live performance and video installations. As Gerard & Kelly move the Sehgal piece across media, their transformations of it highlight and deconstruct the way that in Kiss, heterosexual sex play is fluid, synchronous, eternal, ‘alive,’ and aesthetically pleasing. Gerard & Kelly’s performance captures the politics of rhythm as a bodily regime inculcated by specific power regimes, capable of contesting normative organisations of timing, pace, frequency, flow – specifically where sex is concerned – and able to manifest and materialise new social formations.

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New Formations 92: Posthuman Temporalities