click to enlarge fif1.jpg

Photo by Josh Levi

Forced Into Femininity makes art not to escape, but to confront our broken systems of control 

Precious trash

The annual International Noise Conference in Miami – a multi-day gathering of experimental musicians and performance artists – has spawned a number of quasi-official "Pre-INC" events dotted throughout the state. This way, locals have the benefits of checking out a selection of performers making their way down to the big event. This year's Orlando Pre-INC is shaping up nicely, especially with the news that Forced Into Femininity will finally return to Orlando to play this show.

The solo project of Chicago's Jill Lloyd Flanagan, Forced Into Femininity is nothing less than a total assault on all senses. Flanagan has described FIF as a "Marxist body horror act," and that fits her merger of the personal and political perfectly. Flanagan credits the initial genesis of FIF to "a sense of difference that I needed to express and make manifest through my life and art. And now what keeps me going is a desire to create darkness and sow dissent in any way I can." 

There is no such thing as a typical FIF performance or song; costumes change, makeup changes, sonics change, performance strategies change, but at the core of it all is Flanagan towering over you, whipping up a disorienting storm of ever-shifting electronics and theatrical, dizzying vocals. She cites inspiration from "the dark goddess Ereshkigal," centipedes, "authoritarian figures of various stripes" and old horror movies.

Flanagan is currently on the road, touring solo at a pretty fucked point in our country. Rather than hopelessness, she feels a renewed sense of purpose: "I'm hoping my performances are providing a bit of hope to our queer communities, which are soon to lose any federal protection from hateful attacks and discrimination."

When asked about particularly memorable shows, Flanagan recalls a night where she was "kicked out of El Rio in San Francisco during my first song for climbing on people and ending up still in my costume barefoot and carrying my cowboy boots under my arm with all my possessions outside in the street. My friends brought me chocolate cake and I ate it in the street with my bare hands." Come out and feel something, together.

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