This month, we got a chance to hear from Kiera Bono! See her work THIS SUNDAY at WAXworks!
WAXstaff (WS): If you could only use three words to describe your work, what would they be?
Kiera Bono (KB): Digestive, dialectic, diasporic
WS: What part of the creative process do you find most challenging? What do you feel comes easily?
KB: It is challenging for me to be able to afford accessible rehearsal and performance space, to build and maintain community, and to find institutional support for practice-based research. The guiding research questions themselves come easily.
WS: Where do you find inspiration for your work? Or what motivates your work?
KB: The intersections between food practices, queerness, chronic illness, and diaspora deeply inform my performance research. My collaborators and I approach our practice as a collision of bodily archives spilling out on each other and rearranging, and we are stewing in the blurriness between subject and object, internal and external, resistance and assimilation, consumer and consumed, etc.
WS: What specific ideas or elements in your work would you hope to receive feedback on?
KB: My work exists in the liminal spaces between “performers” and “audience members,” so feedback on anything and everything is not only welcome but is also a crucial component of the performance research I’m trying to do. Everyone’s experience of the work is a valid, necessary part of the work itself.
WS: What goals do you have for your creative work?
KB: My goals include carving out space for collective survival through movement, sound, and performance-making; companion planting: navigating ways to let each other exist fully without losing ourselves and vice versa, trying to cultivate safer spaces for all intersections of folks' identities, and finding modes of symbiosis; collaboratively developing improvisational scores and performance practices that function like growing vegetables and herbs, cooking, eating, digesting, and composting; confronting what capitalism does to our bodies, moving with and through this, and cataloguing our shared resistance; committing ourselves to dismantling oppressive power structures; and creating performance that allows us to see and hear each other, finding choreographic and sonic methods of supporting each other’s visibility and audibility, and at the same time questioning how social conditioning influences our perceptive capacities.
WS: Share a funny anecdote from a rehearsal or performance.
KB: This one time I performed in a full-length piece with a broken rib that I didn’t know was broken until like six days later.
WS: Do you have any secret talents?
KB: Accidentally killing air plants and other small plants that supposedly do not need a lot of care.
WS: What’s the last book you read? Movie you watched?
KB: Oof, I just started a Ph.D. program this fall, so I have been “gutting” (reading bits of/extracting the most important points from) a whole bunch of books and articles every day, but the most recent one I cited in an assignment was Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century by Kyla Wazana Tompkins, a book that has heavily influenced my academic and practice-based research for the past four years. I’ve also been watching The Holiday Baking Championship.
WS: Where can we find more information about your work and upcoming projects?
KB: My website is currently https://www.assimilationistagita.com/ but I’m hoping to change the domain to something less obnoxious and more accessible (like kierabono.com) sometime soon, so if the first link doesn’t work, try kierabono.com or something with my name. I also archive everyday movement material (often created in office spaces, hotel rooms, or outdoor spaces) here: https://www.instagram.com/fwjschelling/.
WS: Anything else you'd like to share?
KB: I just want to send gratitude to the WAXworks and Triskelion teams for opening this space for folks to present work and exist in relation to each other as people who make and consume performance. Thank you for this opportunity!