PUT YOUR HEART UNDER YOUR FEET … AND WALK!
PUT YOUR HEART UNDER YOUR FEET ... AND WALK! is a requiem for Elu Kieser, Steven Cohen’s most beloved life partner who passed away in 2016. He realizes his romantic wish – to be forever one as a couple – with all registers of spiritual and physical symbolism, from Christianity to Taoism and more. This performance artist from Johannesburg who resides in France evokes Elu’s early passion for classical dance and makes his own body symbolically the last resting place after 20 years of a fulfilling relationship in art and daily life. It is also thanks to his foster mother, Nomsa, that he found the strength to continue creating art after his partner’s death. She gave him courage at a proud age of 96: “Put your heart under your feet… and walk!”
This is precisely what he does – on stage – as always, in the boldest of costumes. Quite the Pierrot of extravagance, he covers his poetically soft makeup-white face with the symbols of his family history, butterfly wings and more. Thus, it belongs to the cornerstones of the performance landscape and is an expression of the most extreme sensitivity for forms and emotions when Cohen transforms suffering, death and hope into his very own form of sacred art. As an enfant terrible with an unspeakably soft heart, he leads a symbolic battle for universal tolerance. He condenses his personal history – woven of South African origins, Judaism, homosexuality and being white – into poetic and aesthetically demanding ceremonies.