Where is Lena Dunham?, Ms Real wonders. Unless she’s being turned into sausages by current exhibiting artist Lindsey Mendick and her piggy accomplices, masquerading as a performing slug or attending Honey Revlon’s voguing workshop, she’s not here to discuss the topic of ‘Shameful Women’ with Mendick at 6pm as advertised. Later over a hot dog, Ms Real overhears that no Lena Dunham due diligence was undertaken prior to her invitation. If you ask Ms Real, to engage with ye olde cancel culture rather than embrace nuanced conversation in the year 2023 is a real shame.
‘One of the biggest one-night-only parties in Edinburgh’, Ms Real reads in the programme waiting in line for the toilet, a fetid festival smell already seeping out at 9pm. The Jupiter Rising x EAF Party, curated by Mendick and Bonjour, a Queer workers’ co-operative based in Glasgow’s Saltmarket is actually pretty modest, especially when compared to the previously raucous Jupiter Rising festivals, cancelled for the foreseeable as, everyone was climbing on the sculptures, a party goer (who wishes to remain anonymous) informs Ms Real in the queue.
Ms Real would never miss a STASIS performance. She squishes through the crowd, tip-toeing deep into a flower bed to watch Aniela Piasecka and Isabel Palmstierna crush the bright red heads of roses into their mouths then whip themselves with the stems. Then, against the blustering wind, Paloma Proudfoot descends the stairs in front of the Ballroom Gallery, a flamboyant cake made by chef Jordan Pilling strapped to her head. ‘Scrapes! Scrapes!’, they shout frantically flinging out slabs of cake that Ms Real is later informed was ‘delicious, very light and lemony’.
Later on closing the evening at the Cloud stage, mid-Sgàireoke, the wifi cuts out. Gorgeously adorned in a golden bow fashioned from emergency thermal blankets, Sgàire Wood belts out ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ to fill the silence whilst a massive ethernet cable is unfurled. Ms Real receives a Guardian alert informing her that Tom Jones has just died at 95 during a particularly problematic performance of Blur’s ‘Park Life’. For fuck’s sake, look where we are, Ms Real thinks as she watches on aghast. And then, I wonder what would Lena Dunham have sung if she were here?
Caitlin Merrett King is a programmer and writer based in Glasgow. Her novella Always Open Always Closed was published by JOAN earlier this year.
Jupiter Rising x EAF was a one-night only party in Edinburgh curated by artist Lindsey Mendick and collective Bonjour, a queer workers’ coop based in Glasgow. JUPITER RISING is Scotland’s artist-led art, music and performance festival championing queer and underrepresented communities hosted by Jupiter Artland.