Victoria Sin presented a ballad of embodiment, longing and transformation, using poetry, drag, science fiction and an original soundtrack by Shy One. Drawing from seminal works of social science fiction and reflective, speculative encounters of looking and wanting, the performance presented a character’s journey through fictional locations, exploring transformational narratives in the often unsettling experience of the physical within the social body.
Victoria Sin is an artist using speculative fiction within performance, moving image, writing, and print to interrupt normative processes of desire, identification, and objectification. This includes: drag as a practice of purposeful embodiment questioning the reification and ascription of ideal images within technologies of representation and systems of looking, science fiction as a practice of rewriting patriarchal and colonial narratives naturalised by scientific and historical discourses on states of sexed, gendered and raced bodies and storytelling as a collective practice of centering marginalised experience, creating a multiplicity of social contexts to be immersed in and strive towards. Drawing from close personal encounters of looking and wanting, their work presents heavily constructed fantasy narratives on the often unsettling experience of the physical within the social body. Their long-term project Dream Babes explores science and speculative fiction as a productive strategy of queer resistance, imaging futurity that does not depend on existing historical and social infrastructure. It has included science fiction porn screenings and talks, a three-day programme of performance at Auto Italia South East, a publication, and a regular science fiction reading group for queer people of colour.
Mali Larrington-Nelson AKA Shy One lives and breathes the eclecticism and diversity of her DJ sets and productions. Having started off DJing on pirate radio as a teenager, Shy One has been exposed to and influenced by the full spectrum of sounds her hometown of London has birthed and nurtured over the years. As with many young Londoners at the time, grime and the wider family of indigenous London club music was what gave Shy One the passion to pursue music as more than a pastime. Obsessively collecting white labels by some of her local production heroes quickly developed into obsessively making beats in Fruity Loops for a handful of local MCs bubbling up in Harrow, the North West London borough she grew up in. Undeterred by those in the scene who called her beats “weird” or “different”, Shy One ploughed on carving out her own sound which eventually caught the ear of Scratcha DVA, who went on to release the Decaffeinated Love EP and her debut LP, Bedknobs and Boomkicks, on his now renowned DVA Music imprint.
Since her initial releases with Scratcha, Shy One has continued to grow as an artist and diversify further into a somewhat undefinable sound whose origins are undoubtedly London but take in a huge variety of musical cultures, from hip-hop and jazz to house music and West London’s own broken beat movement –all of which are well represented on her various radio shows across stations like Balamii, NTS and Rinse FM. As well as DJing and releasing music more recently on labels such as Diskotopia and Through My Speakers, Shy One is also a resident DJ and part of London’s BBZ and Touching Bass collectives -two forward-thinking groups of artists, DJs, and activists that strive to create a space for London’s marginalised LGBTQI+ and POC communities through art, music and culture.
Park Nights is the Serpentine’s experimental, interdisciplinary live platform, programmed for the Galleries’ annual architectural commission, the Serpentine Pavilion.