Gustavo Gomes

Troubled Humor and Tainted Beauty

Blue Shoe—Theater of Apophenia

A docufiction on sexual violence against men showing the complex thresholds between fantasy, perception, and dissociation.

Gustavo Gomes

Cologne-based choreographer, director, and filmmaker Gustavo Gomes proposes a docufiction that focuses on sexual violence against men. Blue Shoe’s script interlaces mythology and interviews with survivors and social workers in Germany. The work deals with the complex thresholds between fantasy, perception, and dissociation while exposing coping mechanisms that survivors develop as adults.

The project is a further development of Gomes’s previous works on apophenia, the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns across unrelated, random occurrences to ascribe meaning. These thought processes often expose truths based on experience; it’s the ability to only see what you already know. Dialoguing between film and performance, the project explores the boundaries of the traumatized body, and the brain’s ability to recreate reality in order to survive.

Gomes will use a visual language that borrows from 1980s video games and artifice to create imagery that serves as a layer of protection and self-representation when touching on trauma, guilt, and shame.

Find out about Gustavo Gomes’s work-stay in São Paulo here.

Read art critic Ana Finel Honigman’s essay on Manhandle here.

Watch Gustavo Gomes discuss his work:

Video by Stephan Talneau