Was Eurotrash subversive entertainment, or was it the modern equivalent of the 19th century freak show, parading the unusual on television, and then dubbing over the voices with comedy accents for the average Joe to laugh at? The honest answer is that it was probably both. Eurotrash ran from 1993 to 2007. From 1997 to 2002 one of the regular features was The Eggheads, in which EVA & ADELE … well, it’s not easy to summarise what they did. “It was video art,” is how Eva describes it. “Video art but for 6 million viewers. No one really understood what we were doing.”
EVA & ADELE are contemporary artists, who not only create art but are art. “Wherever we are is museum, over the boundaries of gender.” They are, they say, from the future. They travelled in their time machine back to 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. “After 50 years of the Soviet Union,” Eva says, “we are a symbol for freedom.” What they do is offbeat, and probably a performance that the average Joe would see as a freak show, but what they achieve is a visibility for anyone who is other. They are a double exclamation mark that stands against conformity.
The biography page on the EVA & ADELE website lists only height, weight, hip and bust size. The two look the same as they possibly can, from make-up to outfits. “Because we have female forenames,” says Eva, “the female dominates. We wear ultra-feminine clothing. Never trousers, always heels. That’s very important. But we have these phallic shaved heads. I’m neither a man nor a woman. Neither is Adele. We’ve invented our own sex.”
For EVA & ADELE, this is not only a performance, it is a way of life. In 2011 the two were married as women after Eva had her sex changed on the register of births following a three-year fight. They did not want to get married as a man and a woman because that is not what they are. And they fought for that right and won. It was only in 2011 that it was legal in Germany to be trans and have one’s sex changed legally without changing one’s body. Eva argued that although her body may be male, her soul was not. The judge who heard the case concurred.
EVA & ADELE celebrate difference. Not only is their performance an exclamation mark, it is also a question mark in human form. It takes nerve and commitment to be who they are, and do what they do. And after all, a hero lives as if the world is not as it is, but how it should be. That is EVA & ADELE.