Love Is A Rebellious Bird, 2018
Faena Theater

30 mins

Wu Tsang

Wu Tsang is a filmmaker and performance artist who combines documentary and narrative techniques with fantastical detours into the imaginary in works that explore hidden histories, marginalized narratives, and the act of performing itself.

Tsang re-imagines racialized, gendered representations beyond the visible frame to encompass the multiple and shifting perspectives through which we experience the social realm. Tsang received a B.F.A. (2004) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. (2010) from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Films by Tsang include We hold where study (2017), Girl Talk (2015), Damelo Todo (Gimme Everything) (2010), and Shape of a Right Statement (2008). Tsang’s work has been exhibited or screened at Tate Modern London, Kunsthalle Münster, Stedelijk Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among many other national and international venues.


boychild is a movement-based performance artist whose work operates through improvisation as a mode of survival.

Adamant about the visceral experience of live visual performance, boychild makes a case for how the movement of form can communicate what remains impenetrable in images, and through language.

Her performances have been presented at MoMA PS1, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, MOCA Los Angeles, MOMA Warsaw, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ICA London, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, MACBA, ICA London, the Sydney Biennial and Berghain. boychild has toured with Mykki Blanco, and collaborated with Korakrit Arunanondchai, Wu Tsang, as well as the streetwear label Hood By Air.

Love is a Rebellious Bird was a performance in two acts, exploring some of the many overlapping legacies of cabaret and drag. Combining elements of science fiction, opera, and golden era Hollywood, the performance was staged in the iconic Faena Theater (designed in collaboration with the filmmakers of Romeo+Juliet).

This project continues Tsang and boychild’s ongoing collaboration, which explores the relationship between live and cinematic realms. Featuring guest performer Larry B, music by Asma Maroof and Patrick Belaga, with costumes by Mischa Notcutt.

This performance occured at the intersection of two long-term projects: a long-term feature film which is a ‘docufantasy’ about the performance artist boychild and the first in a series studies of Carmen.

This new performance-film project pointed to the tensions of colonialism, diaspora and “otherness” particularly within the context of Miami’s opulence and decadence.


Love is a rebellious bird

When will I love you?
Good Lord, I don't know,
Maybe never, maybe tomorrow.
But not today, that's for sure.

Love is a rebellious bird
That none can tame,
And it is well in vain that one calls it,
If it suits it to refuse.
Nothing to be done, threat or prayer;
The one talks well, the other is silent,
And it's the other that I prefer;
He said nothing, but he pleases me.

Love is a gypsy child,
It has never, never known the law;
If you don't love me, I love you;
If I love you, do stand on guard!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you;
But if I love you, if I love you,
Do stand on guard!

The bird you hoped to catch
Beat its wings and flew away.
Love is far, you can wait for it;
You no longer await it, there it is.
All around you, swift, swift,
It comes, goes, then it returns.
You think to hold it fast, it flees you,
You think to flee it, it holds you!

If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, then I love you;
But if I love you, if I love you,
Do stand on guard!