Performing at the Trans Day of Joy 2022 at the Somerset House, part of This Bright Land festival. TDOJ curated by WeExist
Acid Baba costume by Izzi Valentine
Photos by Chloe Hashemi
Music composition for Close Shave, dir. Lydia Garnett (Spindle), 2022
“Sasha Wilde: sketches on surviving satanic panic” at Titanik gallery, Turku, Finland, May 2022. Live performance, as part of a two-month sound art residency
This new work in development deals with being accused of witchcraft and satanism as a teen, under quite tragic circumstances. The town begins its trial. Police, journalists and teacher committees, as well as regular town folk seek to get a confession out of me; a confession of my perversion, possession of magical powers, and my pact with the devil.
. . .
I am taken to the headmaster’s office, where I am sat down at one end of a long table with the headmaster and his deputies around me. He slams some random people’s poems printed off the website “gothic.lt” in front of me and asks me to explain them. I tell him they’re not mine and so I don’t know what they’re about. One deputy impatiently inserts herself: “What do you think about cemeteries?” “I find them a peaceful place to visit and contemplate” “But why cemeteries? Isn’t it a morbid place to spend time in?” I say “Death is part of life and I like to contemplate that”, after which another deputy tells everyone she agrees with me, leading to a fight between the two deputies over whether death is part of life or not. I sit patiently, observing, until they notice me again and tell me I’m free to go.
Pictures and videos by Elie Halonen
IKLECTIK art labs performance, May 2022 , part of the new Performance art curatorial fellowship curated by Dyana Gravina.
To start thinking of a cyborg, queer and ethically repurposed technologies, this platform wants to address these issues and invest in social change within an interdisciplinary framework. The aim of this first event is to propose works that both critically raise questions around these biases and yet serve as a gateway to imagining multitude narratives around gender identities, where the distinction between humans and robots blends into the erotic pleasure and a-gendered reproduction powers.
Selected artists: Portia Yuran Li, Sian Fan, Dominique Savitri Bonarjee and Nicole Bettencourt Coelho + Byuka + Sasha Wilde.
Using sound, movement and wearable technologies, Nicole, Byuka and Sasha will use their interest in erotics, sensual experience, spirituality and embodiment to seek other-than possibilities to create conditions for collaborative feeling and channeling in the present moment. When designing a technological platform for performance, the physical, intuitive, sensual experience is considered to ask the question: Will it feel good?
Performance using MiMU gloves as part of Nicole Bettencourt Coelho’s research and practice of queer sound magic rituals “Ports of Ghosts”. Filmed by Niya B. 2022, with movement artist Byuka
Sasha Wilde, Nicole Bettencourt Coelho, Yuki Nakayama 2022. IRCAM forum, Cetre Pompidou, Paris, March 2022. Photos by Lydia Garnett
Finn, 2021. Sound composition. Finn — Finnegan Shepard
Director — Lydia Garnett
Amidst an explosion of interest in the ‘trans experience,’ we also run the risk of calcifying our cultural narratives. Finn is a short, fresh breath of air, at once reaching deep into the roots of a singular trans man’s experience while simultaneously opening up the conversation around what we all share, rather than what separates us. Directed by Lydia Garnett, the film is a simple, elegant testament to the importance of honest and unfiltered storytelling.
Working with designer Jackie Pratt, 2021 – ongoing
Opening SapfoFest 2021, Lithuania. Pictures by Laima Whoareyou
KERAI “Show me a future where I can live” cover, 2021. Photo and digital edit by Iggy Robinson. Metal headpiece by Izzi Valentine.
Performance for camera in KERAI’s “Evolution”, 2019. dir. Oliver David. Choreography and performance Eve Stainton and Florence Peake.
Evolution is a queer meditation on monstrosity and the erotic. The video invites the viewer to abandon attempts at categorising what they see and to give up the notions of reading and passing. Evolution creates a space where there is freedom to go through the feelings of attraction, revulsion and fascination without shutting down the possibilities of an intimate encounter.
Directed by Oliver David – whose work on Mykki Blanco’s Loner promos was featured in New York Times, Guardian, Bullet, Paper and Pitchfork – the video takes place in a haunting and liminal space, in which ambiguous forms are picked out of the darkness in acid hues.
Interdisciplinary artists Florence Peake and Eve Stainton choreographed and performed in the video, taking on the role of a multi-limbed, chimerical creature – emerging out of the darkness and mist. Moving, twisting, interlocking, this creature is at once human, and already evolved beyond that form. This writhing naked creature’s movement is at once creative and destructive, simultaneously reproducing and annihilating.
KERAI’s Sasha Wilde took on the form of another monstrous creature who emerges from the darkened space addressing the viewer, their haunting voice telling of desire and risk while cruising for connection.
Performance for camera in KERAI’s “Heaven and Songs”, 2019. Dir. Lydia Garnett
In Lydia Garnett’s black and white video for Heaven And Songs, KERAI’s Sasha Wilde moves in an undefined space, coming in and out of focus, momentarily emerging from darkness into light.
“The song evokes the feeling of a perfect moment slipping away,” says Garnett. “It reimagines the haunting of one’s lover as a sweet continuation of an infinite bond. Heaven and Songs captures the immense vitality that can be found in liminal spaces, where life is lived with an intense sense of connection and freedom.”
And this visual captures that romantic intensity of both the artist and song in an alluring yet concise fashion.
Trouble Wanted “Lonely Cowgirl”, 2020. Music production, mixing and backing vocals.
The video for Lonely Cowgirl by Trouble Wanted follows a queer, lesbian romance that unfolds in a fantasy roadside bar, full of high-drag, lusty visual exchanges and John Waters-style weirdness.
Produced by a team of creative talent from London’s queer scene, the careful attention paid to lighting, art direction and styling make this otherwordly saloon feel like it could be set in any time period between 1970 and 2030.
KERAI Show Me a Future Where I Can Live, 2021. Songwriter, music producer, art director, vocalist.
KERAI means ‘charm, spell and glamour’ in Lithuanian. “Show Me a Future Where I Can Live” is a testament to both resilience and vulnerability – from Sasha Wilde’s post-Soviet childhood, growing up queer in a hostile environment, through to surviving an actual witch-hunt. Sasha Wilde and Julian Wharton weave together a tapestry made up of sounds influenced by moody Russian New Wave, Scandinavian electronica, and Lithuanian folk – all punctuated with deep and punchy bass and kick. Ursula K Le Guin and H. G. Welles’ sampled voices evoke longing for a new way of being. “Show Me a Future Where I Can Live” is brimming with references to alien worlds, (transphobic) monsters, otherworldly creatures and ghosts, cruising and struggles with mental health. Prepare yourself for some serious shapeshifting.
I am Both And, Trans day of visibility. Score composition. 2022
Directed by Wes O’Connor
“Every Time I am Erased, I Write Myself Back”, Commissioned by Mother Tongues collective for their “WAVES & Rituals” series, 2020
I’ve been thinking about translation for a very long time. Most obviously, I am a migrant who primarily speaks a language that is not native to me. I also studied Tibetan language as my undergraduate degree and I am a literary translator working from Lithuanian into English.
As a non-binary trans person, I also think of translation as a mode of living that anyone who is not aligned with the hegemony of the time, are constantly doing. How do we as queer people navigate language when it has been tampered with to exclude and erase us?
I often think about the sense of grief and melancholy that lots of queer people live with. While a linguistic angle is certainly not THE explanation for queer grief, I believe that so much of our sense of loss is rooted in the fact that we had and still have to learn an inadequate cisheteronormative language; and that, if we are lucky enough, we can begin to see its inadequacy and begin to unlearn it.
The moment we realise we do not speak our language and our own bodies are a foreign land is the moment that marks the beginning of rewriting, and all the joy and playfulness, and invention, and discovery rooted in the process.
I made this piece as a mostly non-linear network of fragments. I included speeches, readings, traditional Lithuanian music, as well my own song and essay fragments. It felt like this was the most authentic way to try to represent what thinking about translation evokes for me.
Samples, sounds and texts used:
Ursula Le Guin reads her own translation of Tao Te Ching
Traditional Lithuanian orphan song
Judith Butler on Grief
Ursula Le Guin reads her own translation of Tao Te Ching
Sasha Wilde song fragment
Karen van Dyck on Migration, Translingualism and Translation
Introduction to Ludwig Wittgenstein
Teju Cole On Carrying and Being Carried
Sasha Wilde essay fragment
Lithuanian pagan song for the god of thunder Perkūnas by Kūlgrinda
Sasha Wilde singing a fragment of an essay