Last night we had the pleasure of experiencing a world we’d never imagined we would venture into! The front-lines of the lesbian, feminist, afterlife! It was a terrifying, twisted, hilarious, AND totally informative adventure, and we’re glad we got the chance to see it! A bit about Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House:
Each Hallowe’en radical evangelical groups all over the USA and Canada build hell houses. Beginning in the 70’s, these performer-animated installations showcase a gruesome retribution for the sins of fornication, abortion, suicide, occultism, and– of course–same-sex relationships. This Hallowe’en Toronto artist Allyson Mitchell reclaims this hellish scenario with her crowd-sourced, lesbian-feminist, queer-fear-fighting and reinforcing Kill Joy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House.
Wrapping this American Gothic Hell House tradition with yard upon illustrated, elaborately decorated yard of spirited craft aesthetic, Mitchell mobilizes her “deep lez” commitment to radical queer world-making potential. Through it, she conjures new kinds of representations of feminist sexuality and queer concepts of community and activism.
Rug-hooked, crocheted, and paper maché’d constructions are horrific wonders for visitations of the undead lesbian community, some who’s ideas are happily buried forever and some who are hell-bent on remaining nightmarishly non-assimilated. Casting the spells of freaky feminist skill sharing and paranormal consciousness raising together with ghouls, bio-engineered monsters, indoctrinators, and avengers, this hell house is designed to pervert, not convert. These spirits dance in a complex mashy web of maligned feminist lesbian histories in tandem with the undead feminist monsters who insist on malicious gate keeping and movement stomping.
The house was incredibly well-executed, our tourguide was super informative, and we learned a lot about the world of our queer female and trans brothers and sisters! We highly recommend (or recommend highly?) checking out this house of horrors if you happen to be in the Toronto area!
Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is on until October 30th, but get there early! (The line is worth the wait.)
BONUS! Check out this special Riot Ghoul mix of horrors that Don Pyle created specially for the piece!