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LEGZ art creates an opposite pole to capitalism

By: Amanda Sandström Beijer

Photo: Sebastian Schanz

Julian Fricker, the person behind the performance and video art persona LEGZ grew up in an artist family in Switzerland. Today they are transporting people into new worlds of gender fluidity through their art that is created as an opposite pole to capitalism.

”Both my parents are ballet dancers, and it was totally normal to do shows in the living room as there always was a camera on. But I felt like an alien in that country since you’re only a good citizen if you earn a lot of money. I tried that out for a while, but it wasn’t for me so I moved to Berlin.”

Frequent travels to Berlin from Zurich and a feeling of not belonging in Schweiz finally resulted in splitting their time between Berlin and Zurich.

”I told myself that if I findCollaborating with people to create the perfect vibe is a powerful and effective way a job and a place to live, it’s meant to be.”

After their arrival Jules was looking to find themself and their artistic expression and became part of the Berlin drag scene.

The drag scene in Berlin was so uplifting and it was a way of freeing myself

”It was a very freeing experience but I didn’t think much about it, I just felt that the drag scene in Berlin was so uplifting and it was a way of freeing myself. So I started doing weekly shows at Pansy.”

Jules engendered an alter ego as they started figuring out what they wanted and so Legz was created.

”It’s giving you a lot of freedom, and it’s very empowering. I would explain it like you’re pushing your limits and all that you’re having inside but don’t dare doing or describing from the person you are. That’s how I started with my character Legz. Actually some people don’t even know my real name.”

Photo: Nikos Doulos

Together with the saxophonist Bendik Giske they started doing collaborative shows that were informed by pop culture, and where going to techno clubs was part of the informed movement, like the notion of repeating movements with variations and the communal aspect of entering a ritualistic zone together.

”I have been interested in feminist Sci-fi for some time and that informed my practice. I felt it was very binary in its gender. I wanted to expand and go into an alien form and have a voice of gender fluidity.”

Jules started creating their own costumes and have always been working a lot with friends in all different fields of the process toward their art creations.

Collaborating with people to create the perfect vibe is a powerful and effective way

”I strongly believe that you need to bring the right energy to good performances. Doing that by collaborating with people to create the perfect vibe is a powerful and effective way.”

In one of their most recent performances Legz is wearing a black hat with tentacle alike arms that was a collaboration with Jochen Kronier, who did designs for Lady Gaga and others. The texture of the hat is made by a specific material that makes the ’arms’ move in slow motion.

”I am fascinated with conquering time, it fits well with what I want to express. It’s for example very filmic in movies when scenes of parties are played in slow motion, and I wanted to work with that notion.”

To Jules, art is always political and to them it’s vital to use their privilege when creating art.

”Growing up in Switzerland I always felt privileged and we’re living in a time where it’s crucial to speak up. Capitalism is on its forefront in and around Europe and it’s affecting the art scene very much.”

Jules highlights the importance of collaborations within art to experience different-, and very important viewpoints from all over the world.

”We have a responsibility to mobilize and go back to political drag and less binary depictions in performance where activism reaches all the way.”

The art scene in Berlin is often very attached to the subcultures, something that Jules felt deeply connected to from start when moving to Berlin and searching for their community.

Berlin is the kind of city where artists are rooting for each other

”It’s a big scene of people who find each other because we search for a community and a way of feeling united. Berlin has a lot of artists, and it’s a counter-pole to the other side where Amazon is expanding its presence with this huge tower in the city center. Meanwhile the clubs no longer have any space and are dying, called ’Clubsterben’ that is caused by gentrification”, Jules says and continues;

”In Berlin there’s a lot of community where you're empowering each other. Berlin is the kind of city where artists are rooting for each other. It’s not so much the elbow thing. But artists in Berlin are also used to do gigs for free, so you don’t earn a lot, something we should be a bit cautious of. But I like Berlin very much.”

When it comes to gaining inspiration for their art, Jules like to dive into new worlds.

”It can be going to clubs and dance my heart out or going into sci-fi worlds of books and movies. I always had a strong imagination, so It’s not that my creativity is drying out, but rather about being transported to another world and then transport others to a new world through my art in return.”

Top 3 Sci-fi inspirational (Books/movies).

Octavia E. Butler – Lilith’s Brood trilogy (I love to listen to interviews of Octavia with her unforgettable voice and imagine how she would read her books)

The Broken Earth Trilogy – N.K. Jemisin (Jemisin won several prices for her intricate and most extraordinary trilogy of the recent years that is a must for Sci-Fi fans)

Dhalgren – Samuel R. Delany (I love how Delany explores sexuality in the city of this brilliant tour de force)

Top 3 Sci-fi inspirational (movies).

Born in Flames – Lizzie Borden (I love that ”lesbiance” that this movie is)

Sense8 – Lana and Lilly Wachowski (so many places I know from my Berlin times, especially the hot Stadtbad Neukölln group sex scene are major)

The Fifth Element – Luc Besson (clearly my alien drag is inspired by Besson’s worlds)


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