Auto Italia, London, 01 December 2018, 19:00 — 21:00
Carlos Maria Romero

Auto Italia is pleased to present A House of Ecstatic Virality, a newly commissioned dance and movement practice work by Carlos Maria Romero aka Atabey Mamasita in collaboration with professionals and volunteers from METRO’s Emerging Communities Programme, which engages members of the growing Latinx and Polish communities in London around HIV prevention and support.

Presented on World AIDS Day, this event marks the first public outcome of a project addressing the ongoing AIDS crisis and the factors primarily affecting the working class, women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ communities from the Global South. The project also addresses factors affecting recent migrants living in the UK and Europe who are affected by HIV. The project intends to engage with how contemporary society still struggles to process the impact, trauma and stigma around HIV since its appearance three decades ago.

A House of Ecstatic Virality invites the public to participate in a series of movement exercises drawn from research into pioneering healthcare advocacy projects the Latex Ball and The Body Electric School. As well as taking inspiration from the origins of House music culture in order to reclaim it as a Queer Black and Latinx music and dance genre. The ‘Latex Ball’ project – produced by the House of Latex (1989, New York) – was established as a public health intervention in response to the scale of loss in Latinx and Black ballroom scenes due to HIV/AIDS. The Body Electric School (1984, California), was conceived as an organisation providing therapeutic outlets for gay men to reconnect to their sexuality, since at the time gay sex was considered to be fatal.

Using methodologies for communal dance and conversation, the work aims to create a celebratory, sober, embodied and life affirming environment for people to come together freely to explore HIV related issues in a safe, relaxed and supportive manner.

The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome. A House of Ecstatic Virality is a participatory session, and all audiences members will be encouraged to actively engage with the performers. No previous experience in dance or movement practice is required.

Carlos Maria Romero aka Atabey Mamasita is a London-based Colombian multidisciplinary artist and performer with a background in dance and live art working in the fields of performing and visual arts, heritage and architectural activism, pedagogy and curating. Maria Romero is the third member of SPIT! (Sodomites, Perverts, Inverts Together!) with whom they wrote and continue to present a series of queer manifestos responding to contemporary pressing issues of sexual and gender oppression (initially part of Frieze Projects 2017), and a founding member of Vividero Colectivo, a group of multidisciplinary artists and architects revealing narratives in which historically marginalised social practices and architectural sites are re-claimed as cultural heritage. In 2016 Atabey created Vogue-Chi, a movement practice for people aged 50+ that evolved into a multi-generational queer and allies safe space for self-expression and coming together. The project is now provided through Micro Rainbow International to LGBTI asylum seekers.

METRO is a leading equality and diversity charity, providing health, community and youth services across London and the South East, with national and international projects. METRO works with anyone experiencing issues around sexuality, gender, equality, diversity or identity across our five domains: Sexual & Reproductive Health, Community, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Youth and HIV.

A House of Ecstatic Virality was an event commissioned and co-curated with artist Jack O’Brien that was programmed as part of Gran Fury’s exhibition Read My Lips.