Heteros Welcome
collaboration with Sergio Valenzuela, Anna Spanlang and Marlene Engel

"(...) Pfalzer made up a performance piece based on a sign Engel created for the door at a Bliss night: "Heteros Welcome." This slogan is inspired by the logo of the Refugees Welcome movement, which is based on a traffic sign showing a family running, typically found on the border between Mexico and the USA. The normative heterosexual binary implications of this familial imagery is disturbing, even though its use in the context of the refugee movement can seen as a best-case reversal. Further, adopting animal-crossing signage in this way is emblematic of the kind of degrading metaphors used by right-wing extremists. The „Heteros Welcome“ sign hung on the door during a collaboration night between Bliss and the Berlin-based event Janus. The performance by Lilly Pfalzer, developed with Engel and Sergio Valenzuela in reaction to this Bliss night, was based on the sign and best described as being in a talk-show format. As an intro, Lilly read a news anchor’s report from Austrian television about the refugee „crisis“. Here she replaced the word refugee with heterosexual: „More than three thousand heterosexuals arrived at the Austrian/Hungarian border. Can we really integrate these people into our society?“ The performance, just like the sign, was designed to reveal the absurdity and implied privilege of being able to decide someone else’s future."

Natalie Brunner, Bliss Vienna. in: Flash Art Magazine Issue November / December 2016, p. 64

Heteros Welcome has been shown at
Mo.e Vienna, 2015
Parallel Vienna, 2015

Image 1-5 video still © Anna Spanlang
Video © Sergio Valenzuela