Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra

JUSTIN SHOULDER
Born 1985, Sydney, Australia
BHENJI RA
Born 1990, Sydney, Australia

Live and work in Sydney

Justin Shoulder works in live performance, photography and video and is particularly known for his spectacular performances that developed within the underground context of Sydney's queer performance scene. Shoulder's performances are based around his highly developed 'Fantastic creatures', invented beings and alter-egos based on mythology, fables and fantasy forms. These creatures are embodied through intricately crafted costumes and movement, with full body suits, prostheses and masks convincingly transforming Shoulder's persona. His practice has its roots in nightclubs and underground live venues and still retains the collective energy of these spaces. In Ex Nilalang 2015, Shoulder collaborates with dancer Bhenji Ra, drawing on their shared Filipino lineage to re-imagine mythologies as celebratory legends. Presenting a mixture of live performance and video-based portraits filmed in the Philippines with queer individuals and collectives, the artists use their bodies to forge connections between queer, migrant, spiritual and intercultural experiences.

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra have also worked with the QAGOMA Children's Art Centre to develop a project for APT8 Kids.

GOMA LEVEL 3

Gallery 3.4

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra invite children to create their own mythical character

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra invite children to create their own mythical character by combining different physical attributes using specially designed templates in Kids APT8.

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra peforming at the APT8 opening weekend celebrations

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra peforming at the APT8 opening weekend celebrations .

Justin Shoulder, Ex Nilalang (Balud, Dyesebel, Lolo ex Machina)  2015

Justin Shoulder, Australia b.1985 / Bhenji Ra, Australia b. 1990 / Ex Nilalang (Balud, Dyesebel, Lolo ex Machina) 2015 / Single-channel HD digital video, 16:9, colour, sound Balud); Love Kaori & Love Marie with Bhenji Ra (Dyesebel); Justin Shoulder (Lolo ex Machina) Costume Design: Justin Shoulder in collaboration with Daniel Guarino and Anthony Aitch; headpieces by Naimah Mambuay / Cinematographer: Sasha Palomares / Producer: Christina Ra / Sound Recorder: Jonathan Q. Hee Kai Choong / Editor: Kelli Jean Drinkwater / VFX: Bec Stegh / Sound Design: Nick Wales / Singer ‘Balud’: Cielo Tibe / This project was assisted by a grant from Arts NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) / Developed for APT8 / Courtesy: The artists.

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra reflect on their practice and work in APT8

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra reflect on their practice and work in APT8.

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