Aging Prelude

“The impulse of fetishism is to hold the object in a trans-temporal permanence.” 

  – Griselda Pollock

Premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater, in 2023, Aging Prelude marks chameckilerner‘s return to live performance. In this “return to the stage,” they delve into their shared experiences with their aging bodies and their shifting relationship to a visual landscape that idealizes the “perpetuation of youthfulness” – in which bodies are cast into an unending cycle of youth and beauty, bereft of histories and futures, forever immune to the ravages of time.

In response, Aging Prelude draws upon a physical vocabulary taken from iconic nudes featured in art history’s paintings, photographs, and sculptures; seeking to bring to light “the body that bears the marks of time on its very skin.”

A diverse community of nine performers representing different ages, genders, and racial backgrounds will reenact these renowned nudes, effectively stripping the “default body” of its power within the visual landscape. Driven by personal histories, the passage of time, and the accumulated experiences held within these bodies, Aging Prelude creates a space where one’s identity is not confined by age, but rather is defined by an ongoing interplay between their older and younger selves.

In Aging Prelude, the notion of “bodies that bear the marks of time on their skin” ceases to be a source of dread; instead, it becomes a source of fascination, sparking a complex interplay of identification and desire in the observer.

This piece was made possible through the generous support of MAP Fund, The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, the Gibney DIP Artist Residency, and the Rauschenberg Foundation Residency.