Artist’s Profile: Alex Cafarelli by Leroy Moore
She floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee – that is one way to describe Alex Cafarelli’s presence on stage as she intertwines her writings and martial arts. There is no separation between body and mind for Alex, bringing her full self as a genderqueer femme Jewish witch to her performances with a mad dash of feisty resistance.Coming from the bitter cold of Minneapolis, Alex has warmed people’s hearts with her solo and collaborative work that encompasses crafty queer wordsmithing, drag, sexual healing, martial arts based movement, song, and ritual performance art. She has performed in the Bay Area, across the Midwest, on both U.S. coasts, in Canada and the UK.I first saw Alex Cafarelli at the 2009 event Artists Against Rape (produced by San Francisco Women Against Rape), where her body filled the stage as she kicked and punched away at sexual trauma and other oppression leveled at women every day. Her work consistently explores the theme of bodies. In a recent workshop she conducted entitled Body Empathy, Alex explains her concept of the body that holds her:“What if we could truly experience empathy for our bodies as they are – and then, by extension, for ourselves, as we are? As queer, genderqueer & trans survivors with a wide array of backgrounds and identities in a sexuality-/gender-restrictive culture, our self-protective tendency can be to ‘check out’ by detaching mind from body to such great degrees that it can be dangerous.”Alex is no stranger to disability. She has lived life-long with asthma.Alex’s pieces for Sins Invalid’s fifth annual show are “Breathless”, which includes spoken word and Bagua Zhang-based movement, and “God Wrestling”, a collaborative piece. In Alex’s words, “the concept around ‘Breathless’ is something of a hot love affair with her Asthma itself.” Her second piece, “God Wrestling”, is a collaboration with performance artist Nomy Lamm.Sins Invalid’s annual show on April 8-10 at Z Space (formerly Theater Artaud) may be your last time to see Alex on stage in the Bay Area. Her garden has outgrown the US and has bridged to Toronto, Canada (where she plans to move after the show). So bring your body, mind, and complex identities to Sins Invalid’s annual show. Buy your tickets now!