6/5/12

Erotics of Radicalism

OK here are a bunch of things all strung together. Getting back into shape, you guys. I have so many exciting things to tell you!

The Queer New York Festival kicks off this Thursday night here in New York . EastVillageBoys and QNY are opening the festivial with an art show called FOR PERSONAL USE.



June 7–June 16, 2012
FOR PERSONAL USE
The Impossible Project
425 Broadway, 5th floor New York NY 10013

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:. Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Jeff Hahn, Jayson Keeling, Josh McNey, Christian Schoeler, SUPERM: Brian Kenny and Slava Mogutin, Andrew Yang.
ORIGINAL EXHIBITION SOUNDTRACK COMPOSED BY B0DYH1GH: Daniel Portland and Max Steele
CURATED BY East Village Boys
COMISSIONED BY Queer New York International Arts Festival

So the opening party is this THURSDAY NIGHT 6/7/12 6pm at the Impossible Project. 

B0DYH1GH has been working quite hard on the soundtrack to the exhibition, and we finally came up with a 7-track suite, titled BUTTERBAWL, when majority of which came to us on, largely, Mother's Day. I would love to see any of you NYC friends at the opening. It will be a cute show and our music is great. I am hoping that we can somehow release BUTTERBAWL as well, after the show maybe. Get excited.

Okay, also. I'm playing a show on Saturday night at Lit Lounge! As Max Steele & the Party Ice.



With many cool queermos, including deer heart Nath Ann Chimera. I'm doing all these shows with Nath Ann lately, it's just the best. I so rarely do Party Ice performances. So, if you are curious what it's like, you should come. Remember that Music Video That The Party Ice Has?


I so wish that this song was four seconds longer. Y'know? 

So! Come see me sing and dance on Saturday, lovers.

This weekend was great too. Sunday morning I woke up early and did laundry. As much as I like to stay out late and have fun or whatever: I'm totally an early bird. I am all about getting that worm, honey. Waking up early on Sunday and silently making coffee, doing housework is kind of my favorite thing in the world. If only that was my job. I did laundry, yes, and cooked some pretty random Sunday morning fare: tempeh and quinoa and green peas. Does that sound gross? You're right, it was gross.

Anyway the point of Sunday is that I went to Bushwick Open Studios, for, like, a second, to see my friend Julia aka Jiddy No-No's open studios. It was fucking great! Julia's new work is, one on hand, clearly an evolution of the themes she's been working with for the last few years, but also uses new techniques, and newer kinds of content. Here is my favorite piece I saw in her studio. It's called "THE HIGHEST"



As gorgeous as this is, you really need to see her work up close. It's huge, holographic. You can see more of Julia's work and ideas on her Tumblr: ANDROID JIDDY. I'm really fascinated with how she combines sort of conflicting fantasies. She said that throughout the weekend of open studios, people who visited had asked her more than a few times whether the landscapes she makes are Utopian or Dystopian, and her response has been that they're all both. I think they're mostly Utopia. Or, they're a Utopia in the sense that nature and civilization seem to be in balance. It's as if the planet fights back, the jungles grow into the cities. I like that the tension between paradise and apocalypse, between science-fiction future and mythological prehistoric past, the dual, multiple readings are equally real in Julia's work. The so-called tension is neutralized. I asked her about the architecture in her work, and she said that she deliberately depopulates her landscapes, there are never people in the pictures. But buildings are there, as a sort of comment on how buildings will outlast us. So, I guess, Julia sort of works with the issue of scale. Physical scale, environmental scale, historical scale. Internal states of balance and perspective. I love her work and am beyond proud to call her a friend. She's starting her MFA this fall, and I can't wait to see what she does next. Hey someone, help me set up an art show for her. Let's do that, you know?

So then after the open studios, I went to B0DYH1GH band practice to run through a few things. Then we went to the Metropolitan BBQ, the Cheapest SummerTime Dinner. I am pledging to live more frugally these days, and the Metro Summer BBQ does dovetail sort of nicely with that. I want to say that it's always a good time, but that's not true. So, instead, maybe, the slogan should be : "The Metropolitan: Sometimes It's Fun". But you can't blame the place, right?

After BBQ we hustled over to Cameo Gallery, where B0DYH1GH was playing a fantastic show, Naked Brunch, organized by Joseph Keckler. The other performers were the Idiot, Milena (cousings with Ms. Joseph Keckler), Hari Nef, Joseph Herself, and of course Gerry and the Twinks. I wore my black and white Lanvin Luke/look, comme d'habitude. Here's a cute photo Gerry shot of it backstage.



I sort of realized that I am basically going for a Trish Keenan effect. Rest in Power. 

Couldn't you just

I think B0DYH1GH did a great set. Some of our newer, more upbeat but still creepy material. Here's a great photo of us onstage: 



The other acts were so much fun. Deer Heart Nath Ann Camerra DJed this event as well. Such a fun night! The headliner was, of course, Miss Gerry & The Twinks.



If you think about it, is Gerry Visco sort of #Seapunk? I'm being actually serious. I have felt (and vocalized this feeling) that Gerry and Ms. Nicki Minaj are sort of headed towards the same logical glamorous pink-haired conclusion, but now looking back at Gerry's work after her performance, and knowing what I do know about her, she seems to jive with the Seapunk stuff.



She closed her set with everyone onstage, her group of twinks singing and dancing along, to an Alvin & the Chipmunks cover version of the Black Eyed Peas' "I Got A Feeling". You guys, it was so good. Like, one of those magickal moments that makes you glad that you live in New York. Gerry Visco is so fantastic. Ugh.

I've been seeing a lot of really amazing shows lately, you guys. I just recently went to go see Jukebox Jackie at La MAMA. It was so fucking rad, you guys. It stars Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, and Cole Escola, and is based on the life, stories, and songs of Ms. Jackie Curtis. It was maybe the snazziest show I'd seen all year. It's kind of mind-blowing to watch the cast all together. They're all such superstars, everyone's so fucking good. And the show seems like a big hit. A lot of celebrities are going to see it (other than yrs truly). Like, here. Check out this photo from last weekend of Patricia LuPone with Cole:


Whaaaaat


Cole has that shit.eating.grin on her face. Seriously, it's great show and it's only up for one more weekend in NYC and you should go see it!

Also in great shows lately, I saw that dog. perform last week. Seriously! It was kind of so amazing. Oddly had figured into my dream life, so it was nice to come full circle on something as well. Such a nice experience. I went with Dan and Nath Ann, and they all seemed to know all of the words. basically everybody at the venue knew all of the words. I knew, like, some of the words. that dog. used to be one of those bands that you couldn't casually bring up in conversation among me and my friends, because everybody had feelings about them (about that one record, really, I mean-- let's be real). I do like the last that dog. record, possibly best? There's probably nothing Petra Haden can't do. Probably.

I also went to go see Carmelita Tropicana's new piece, POST-PLASTICA last weekend:



In no small part because Becca Blackwell and Erin Markey are in it. I had gone over to their new apartment to help them move in the day before. They live right near me now! It's rad. Well, the next, maybe, two neighborhoods over. Anyway-- social call. Their SHOW was fantastic. It's closed, but it might happen again. I had a really good time. I had only seen Carmelita's work on video or in other snippet forms. She was part of the Vaginal Davis Is Speaking From the Diaphragm evening I was part of at PS122 oh so many moons ago (Becca was also part of it, as one of the "Sit-on-my-Facial" go-gos, but not at the performance I was in).

So the show, POST-PLASTICA is a post-apocalyptic, futuristic, sci-fi fable about identity, culture, authenticity. It is kind of hard to get into the story of it. I hope that it happens again. I will say that everyone in it did a really great job, the show was kind of bonkers (in a good way) and it took me three whole days to fully "get it". Like, I was at the gym last night, and it sort of struck me, what the show is about. It's about, to me, delving into a kind of cautious (dare I say AMBIVALENT) understanding of culture on macro and micro levels. The ways in which power sort of infects, like a virus, the imaginations of artists. The villainess (played with scintillating vigor by our favorite Erin Markey), sort of reveals herself to be compassionate at the end of the show, without letting the audience immediately know. Colonialism is insidious, more insidious and pervasive than you realize, maybe. To understand how power infects it means stepping back, all the way back, possible out of the picture frame of reality. Carmelita Tropicana is so brilliant to ask these questions this way, when I realize what she's doing. I hope this turns into a movie. Wouldn't that be great?

After the show we went to get tacos at this great restaurant by the 103rd St. stop, where I once went with my good buddy Walt Cessna, who I'm actually going up to visit on Friday. I might go back to this restaurant? They had really amaizng horchata? I ate too much that night.

Last week there was this performance at the Hole in NYC by Bruce LaBruce featuring Slava Mogutin, Brian Kenny, Gio Black Peter & Carter. I missed it. But I saw these photos from it, the leftovers from the performance. As Bruce La Bruce said about this piece: "It was in support of feminism".





Now, at first, I was like, well, he's got to be fucking with us, right? How is this about feminism? Is that true? Does he even really believe that? But then I decided that BLAB isn't stupid, he knows exactly what he's doing, which is asking us, by making this claim, to locate how this performance is in support for feminism. It took me a couple of minutes, but I do see that this piece is in support of a certain kind of feminist aesthetic. The post-second-wave thinking of many sort of "classic feminist artists" also informs, I think, BLAB's work. Bruce LaBruce maps out the Erotics of Radicalism.

Okay, so. How is this piece in support of feminism? For me, the piece is another homage to Ana Mendieta:





Here's a film of BODY TRACKS:


Mendieta's iconic work, echoed in the BLAB piece, was covered, or used in homage by the similarly visceral and violent Nancy Spero:



It also made me think of Carolee Schneemann, who has done her own tributes to Mendieta, but specifically the BLAB piece made me think of one of my favorite of Schneemann's work, Up To And Including Her Limits, from 1973.



So, for me, Bruce LaBruce's art work is, in a sort of punk rock fanboy sense, "in support of feminism". I made it true by thinking about it hard enough! BLAB seems to approach feminist discourse in the way that a teenager shops for records, finding the parts that speak to him and illustrating why. Namely, locating the political discourses of violence, militarism, power and oppression within the human body. Locating an erotics, as I said, of radicalism. Making it sexy. Bruce LaBruce's whole trip about zombies and the apocalypse isn't "just" a metaphor for queerness. I think it might be tempting to see this as a case of men appropriating feminist thought and artwork but I think that LaBruce is actually trying to recontextualize, rather than appropriate, the iconic language of Mendieta and others. He's trying to insert himself into this history, to make the history of feminist art include his own artwork, from the outside. This is in support of feminism. I dunno. I think I get it. I got it, I mean, for myself.

Hey speaking of being in support of feminism, check out this cute article about Jabberjaw by Dr. Vaginal Crème Davis in Artforum. Vag is such a great writer. What a cool read.

Finally, I just found some more copies of the most recent issue of SCORCHER: WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG. If you want one, for a cut rate price of $2 plus shipping, e-mail me: billycheer@gmail.com



This has been the most fictitious issue yet, and I am beginning work on a bunch of new projects, including a new Scorcher for this fall (hopefully/possibly maybe). Now is a great time to get this zine.

It's about the press. It's about revenge, the press, war. Magick and love.

Man. Okay! here we go.

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