Masterful women, drag superstars, actual monarchs, aging queers: What makes a Queen a Queen? Highness critically inhabits and stages ideas of "the regal feminine": the precarious labor of working a crown in the everyday, in divergent narratives of history and colony and blood, and in relation to one's subjects; the magic trick of holding on to the right to rule, of appearing born for the task, of deserving one's place, of remembering to remember how to serve. Soft power, iron rule, petty tyranny, virgin queen – what is the relation of power to legacy, and legacy to sacrifice on the territory of a woman's body that is "royal"?
Involving a video collaboration with artist Sam Smith, Highness is the second piece in the Arch Type-trilogy of performance works begun in 2015 with Mira Fuchs. This trilogy investigates economies of affect as they relate to three available archetypes of performing womanhood: the Whore, the Queen, and the Hag.
TEXT, CHOREOGRAPHY, VIDEO, PERFORMANCE Melanie Jame Wolf VIDEO, SET Sam Smith COSTUME Veronika Schneider SOUND DESIGN Annika Henderson, 24k/Carl Anderson ARTISTIC ADVISORS Sharon Smith TANZ Louise Trueheart, Alistair Watts MANAGEMENT björn & björn
A production by Melanie Jame Wolf/Savage Amusement funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. With support from Arts House Melbourne, Metro Arts Brisbane, and Schwankhalle Bremen. media partner: taz.die tageszeitung
Melanie Jame Wolf makes performances and video installations about economies. Sometimes solo, sometimes with friends. Always exploring systems of value and exchange, particularly as they occur in the murky field of immaterial capital – the social, the cultural, the affective. She investigates these flows as they are produced through ideas of ghosts, of gender, of pop, of myth, of morality, of sensuality, of class. Melanie Jame has shown her work in gallery, theatre, and film festival contexts around the world. She premiered her two last major performance works HIGHNESS and TONIGHT at Sophiensaele. savage-amusement.com