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When I was dating trans men I felt different, when I was picking up straight guys in the prostitute area of Berlin, I became kind of a prostitute myself. I was behaving the same and my language and movements were similar to the street sex workers. What inspired this project? In my artistic practice I was moving from the concept into abstract writings and poetry, from thinking into feeling and being alive.
My body was turning into non-body. Step by step I pull my skin I got used to it Were you right or wrong? I was preparing this project for at least six months. The concept itself was changing and, of course, I was thinking of some moral and ethical issues and also about how I would complete this insane idea.
The beauty of performance art or art generally is that there is no right or wrong. It is always a life experience, which can teach you a lot. I knew it is going to be a kamikaze mission and that I will suffer a lot but the pain is a basement of my performance art.
What did you learn from doing this? Others create me and I am a reflection of others. For the first time in my life I started crying while having sex. It never happened before and I was surprised how emotionally intertwined I became with my body.
I was just meeting people who inspired me and that I would love to see again, and that gave me so much energy and power. It made me insecure; and I was very afraid to climb the walls. I learned how to say goodbye to people, friends, lovers.
This project created a lot of negative energy that I had to deal with. It was very hard for me to say no; to let go the feelings and just to relax. And so I learned about how our bodies could be sensitive and powerful at the same time. While engaged in the project I consciously went on dates with HIV-positive people and so I learned how to accept people and also about the virus itself. If people are on the therapy [undetectable] there is almost no chance for you to get this virus.
I also learned about the connection of violence and sexuality. I had to punch, beat, slap in order to be high and excite myself. That was very new and strange for me. What do you want others to take away from your experience? I experienced a lot of hate speech and discrimination in the gay community. I hope very much that people can stay people and enjoy all those dating apps without any discrimination.
I also want people to be honest with each other. Berlin is a great place for fun and sex, but nobody wants to accept that they are fucked up and depressed. Nobody speaks about the loneliness of gay people. They want to show only a good body and good mood. I hope they will wake up now. What was the worst experience you had? I was a bit scared when an Armenian Neo-Nazi was attacking me online. I reported him and blocked from everywhere. I was also shocked by religious fanatics who would send me quotes from the Bible and say I have to go to the church in order to save my soul and get back on the right track in my life.
I taught myself not to cry and just keep saying to myself: What was the best experience you had? I had so many beautiful dates. For example, one dancer from LA flew to Berlin to date me. He made a dance piece in his college based on my performance and then he went on a date with me. Some dates became part of my work; some became my close friends. It is beautiful to be connected with someone who was just part of your art piece and now my life. It was also very nice getting messages and calls from people around the world and hearing that I inspired or even saved them.
Once he read about me he said he was happy that someone speaks out about the topic and he felt so released. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. In order to understand something, you have to touch it.