Shelly Mars is a performance artist and filmmaker who has been awarded a research grant from the Arcus Foundation to learn about Bonobo monkeys and the humans that work with them. Mars' work is primarily concerned with human sexual postures. Shelly Mars has exhibited in shows, such as, Bug Chasers (2004), Sex on Mars (2001), Whiplash: Tales of a Tomboy (1999) and Invasion from Mars (1997). She has also performed at PS 122, New York Theatre Workshop, The Kitchen, as well as other national venues. Her performance monologues are published in books including Creating Your Own Monologue along with work by Karen Finley and Spalding Gray.
"Human Bonobo Project"
The Human Bonobo Project will be a multi-media performance with a docu-drama film component. The project explores parallels between humans and apes, in terms of their pan-sexuality and cognitive self-awareness. Bonobo groups are characterized as female centered and egalitarian, using sex to resolve conflict in virtually every partner combination, including homosexual, heterosexual, and trans-generational. Mars will unpack the cautiousness of ape researchers and of the queer community in exposing alternative forms of sexuality and hold Bonobos as a foil against which we may examine our own culture.