I am Morphae and Morphae is me

Morphae is this incredibly inexplicable artist. Morphae is an alien. Morphae is a fairy. Let’s discover more about this beautiful creature.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What has been your journey?

I am Morphae and Morphae is me. There is no duality in the way I perceive my character’s development and personal journey. We birthed and live as one. Alien: « a » Latin prefix for « without » and « lien » translated from French = « bound ». Alienated: free from normative bounds or social loneliness? Both? I am a neurodivergent transfeminine person. These are beautiful identities yet I carry the remaining trauma of the many childhood years of bullying based on my differences. The so-called « monstrous » shape of my queer self in others’ eyes and insults has been internalised deeply within me and I haven’t found a way yet to fully purge this venom. I still suffer from depression episodes and a general anxiety disorder which I am medicated for. This is the reason why body horror, mental health, streams of consciousness, creatures, and crooked movements are so reminiscent of my work. Performance is primarily a tool of healing, for me and hopefully for the ones in the audience who can relate to those demons.

The concept of healing versus pathology is also a centerpiece of my universe. I am currently in my fifth year of medical studies and I am working now full-time as a medical intern in hospitals. Nature and biology have been a source of inspiration and sometimes the immaterial solace I hid in when in pain. I, unfortunately, have seen death up close as a child and I still do now as a doctor. For example, I have already performed autopsies on dead adults and fetuses and held freshly extracted human organs (including a brain) in my own hands. This is the reason why anatomy, decaying organisms, medical machinery, and the general physiopathology of life and death can be seen in my art. I recently also realised that the only colors I am drawn to are all related to the flesh, its fluids, and the hospital. White: Eyes/surgery room – Red: Oxygenated blood – Black: Necrosis – Beige: My skin color -Purple: Veins and deoxygenated blood – Yellow/Green: Infected fluids. So overall, I draw inspiration from transhumanism, biomimicry, and psychiatry to create visually speaking performances and a distorted fairy dark yet colorful otherworldly universe to promote a community-based healing process.

What are your current or future projects?

IN VITRO, is a conceptual art venue that I am co-organising and co-hosting (art direction and communication). It is a very experimental venue mixing performances, queer lives, and the medical world. I am over-excited about the project. It happened on May 6th at Reflektor in Liège. Also, I aspire to become a psychiatrist. I may take a break from my studies because I am on the verge of burn-out but I will finish my studies no matter how long I need to rest before the end of it. My ultimate goal is to create a medical and cultural center for and by transgender/queer people. Our community has healthcare needs like the normative society and we aren’t given the right to access it / are facing heavy medical violence in the process. I want to change that. More to be revealed.

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Brussels queer community?

Originally from Liege, I had the chance to flee from this city where most of my traumas lay. Now belonging to our queer community, flourishing and diverse, always thriving for more inclusivity and care, is a blessing and truly saved my life. It is pushing me to create and push myself, push beyond my mental cage, and push for creating safer spaces. We are truly lucky to be a part of this and I will mention in the next paragraphs the initiatives that I hold close to my heart.

What are your queer influences?

Sasha Velour, Fecal Matter, and Gena Marvin are the ones who made me feel better about being different. I had the chance to meet the last two in person and I think this has helped on so many levels. From a more (not so) local perspective, I cherish the artistic bond and sisterhood I have with Jon Boy, Krasna, and Drag Couenne. Those multidisciplinary artists (among so many others I have met since I started performing) are my initial inspirations, they have helped me and inspired me. They are trendsetters and trend breakers, they are artistic geniuses, and they represent the unapologetically unique beauty I seek. So, to all the beautiful beings I met on stage along the way (Vera Moro, Belligerency, Typic Alix, Alexia Chaudoir, Butchibou, Samantha Ruffskin, and Croma, Lylybeth, Veronica Deneuve and so many others), I am eternally grateful for your existence. Follow them!

What Brussels queer initiatives are you fond of?

Brussels’ performing scene would not be what it is today without « Not Allowed » and its incredible members. I also want to mention: Queeriosity (by La Veuve) and Crash Test (by Samantha Ruffskin and Croma) because they have always fought to put new talents in the spotlight. Playback (by Blanket La Goulue) and Just The Tip (by Call me Brenda) for creating stages to educate, entertain and display diversity. Propaganda (by Krasna, Belligerency, and King Kovaci) for being our drag military, spreading messages of love and revolution through conceptual performances and their Eastern European heritage. All the squats and alternative queer communities because they keep on welcoming and hosting events and workshops. We are blessed to have so many spaces to express ourselves and it is only the beginning.

Picture credits: Morphae, Alexia Chaudoir, Vera Moro, Assbiri, Typic Alix, Aaron Chamski, Les nouilles