With the performance "Thonk piece: Hungry for Stains", drag queens Mary Messhausen and proddy produzentin will open the exhibition COSIMA VON BONIN. FEELINGS at the SCHIRN. In the run-up to the event, we asked them a few questions.

1. Mary and proddy, you have been working together as a drag queen duo for many years. How did you get to know each other and what were the beginnings of your collaboration like?

Mary and proddy: Proddy moved from Frankfurt to Toronto at the end of 2005. A few weeks later we ran into each other at a gay strip club. Mary had just given her PIN number to one of the dancers. We started talking about her good stripper fortune. The rest is herstory and credit card debt. 

2. You also have a long-standing working relationship with Cosima von Bonin. You appear at her exhibition openings, perform and exude an air of "je ne sais quoi". When and how did you first meet the artist and what was the idea behind the collaboration?

Mary and proddy: It all started when Cosima invited proddy to dj at an afterparty in Berlin in 2003. This was at The Royal Pawn Shop by Eric D. Clark. Proddy introduced Cosima and Mary in 2011 at the show ‘The Juxtaposition of Nothings’ at Petzel Gallery, New York. The idea was always to distract attention away from Cosima.

3. How exactly does your collaboration work? Can you tell us about the usual working process?

Mary and proddy: Cosima usually gives us carte blanche for the openings, except when it’s urgent, e.g. please wear dresses in gold. However, this time, when we were emailing and messaging with Cosima, a haunted potato possessed our communication. It might take over the performance and get us thonked. 

4. Is there a joint project that you remember as particularly memorable or absurd?

Mary and proddy: Really memorable is Cosima’s show “Hippies Use Side Door. The Year 2014 Has Lost The Plot” at mumok in Vienna. Mary, proddy and Doc Nancy had endless fun at the opening using custom made stamps to beautify the butts of the audience. They were already beautiful but more is more. 

Cosima von Bonin with proddy produzentin, Image via fm4v3.orf.at

5. For the opening at the SCHIRN on March 20, you will present the performance series "Thonk Piece", which was originally a podcast in the form of a visual audio book. How did the project develop and what can we expect at the opening?

Mary and proddy: It only took a pandemic and a micro dose of edibles to come up with the concept of us talking for 2 hours non stop on a live stream. For the opening we’re looking forward to enchant feelings with our infamous singing voices. The last time we were in Frankfurt together we fell off a bike, so the stars are aligned!!!


MARCH 21 – JUNE 9, 2024