Deconstructing the arias originally sung by castrato singers, artist Lina Lapelyte reflected upon femininity and gender with her new work for an all-female group of performers with low voices.
Hunky Bluff is "a deadpan negotiation of gender from deep within ambiguity, a performance of arias from the period when all the high pitched arias by Handel, Vivaldi and J.C. Bach were performed by castrati, those peculiar mutated creatures whose maturation was arrested in a fanatical search for the sublime... To go one step further into the twisting of normativity, these arias have been lowered in pitch, rearranged and deconstructed for female performers who have very low ‘masculine’ voices." (David Toop)
Performed by Francesca Best, Beatrice Bukantyte, Sim Canetty-Clarke, Laurence David Valadier, Susannah Frieze, Sharon Gal, Jennie Jacobs, Lina Lapelyte, Monika Lindeman, Irene Longworth, Lola May, Áine O’Dwyer, Martina Schwarz and Caroline Ty. Costumes designed by Pratique Actuelle (Vivienne Griffin and Cian McConn).
Lina Lapelyte lives and works in London and Vilnius. She is an artist, composer, musician and performer. In her recent operas such as Have a good Day! and Candy Shop she has been exploring the phenomena of song, using it as an object with which to examine issues of displacement, otherness and beauty. Along with Rie Nakajima, Richard Skelton and Jennifer Walshe, Lapelyte was shortlisted for the 2014 Arts Foundation award for experimental music.
Between June and October 2014, Serpentine Galleries presented Park Nights, an annual series of live art, poetry, music, film, literature, performance and theory. In 2014, eight events took place on selected Friday evenings in the unique environment of the Serpentine Pavilion 2014, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić.