Where will you be when the lights come up at the disco and the deejay gives you the 8-minute warning to find a date by spinning “Last Dance?”
It’s a mult-culti mashup this week as we offer up a smorgasbord of award-winning films, diva danceoffs and artistic takes on gender — and gender bending fetish.
Friday, January 19
C’mon Everybody hosts a Diva Danceoff Featuring Diana Ross and Donna Summer (club event): It’s the diva showdown on the century—”The Boss” herself Diana Ross vs. the original Bad Girl, Donna Summer. Did you see the viral video of Ms. Ross dancing to herself at the Abbey in LA recently? That same remix of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is sure to be on the playlist this weekend, along with the late Ms. Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby.”
Fortunately, neither queen will be in attendance at this dance party, which means you get to switch sides every three minutes (or more when “I Feel Love” hits the turntable) without any danger of hurting the feelings of any partisans in the house. I’m Comin’ Out, as the song says. How about you?
Tuesday, January 23
Alabama Bound (film): This documentary, on screen at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, explores the legal rollercoaster ride of LGBTQ rights in the American South. This cinematic portrait offers an expansive and intimate view into the lives of three same-sex families in Alabama — including the only openly-gay Alabama State Legislator Patricia Todd — as they make waves in the legal system fighting homophobic legislation in a deeply religious state. Set alongside the turning-point years when federal marriage equality was coming to a head in the courts, this riveting and powerful film tactfully imbues the viewer with hope and frustration as Patricia Todd leads the charge in next wave of the LGBTQ fight for equality: legal non-discrimination.
Tuesday, January, 23
(Live on stage): Phillip J. Ammonds (Trinity Rayn, The Drag Poet), curator of Rainbows Across the Diaspora, The Queer Text Reading Series at Dixon place, presents Tadeusz von Moltke (NBC’s The Blacklist; DJ Khaled/ Jay Z’s video “I Got the Keys”) in the first public performance of selections from The Hollywood Adriana: A Cautionary Tale of Damaged Good.
The Hollywood Adriana is an experiment in form. “Dimensional Fiction” designed to be performed, it is a tragi-comedy in a kaleidoscope of styles – prose, poetry, screenplay, opera libretto; a modern-day story of obsession, sex, love, murder, innocence lost, and catharsis. Silent film, ballet, and opera converge in the surreal world populated by the protagonists, with surprise visits from Sarah Bernhardt, Ramon Novarro, Rosa Ponselle, Hector Berlioz, hustlers, drag queens, and altar boys.
Brilliant and provocative artist/activist Linda LaBeija shares the programme with Tadeusz von Moltke, presenting her most recent work.
Zana Bayne Collaboration (exhibit): NYC’s Museum of Sex has a kinky little offering on its current Bill of Fare: Zana Bayne is a NYC-based luxury leather goods brand founded in 2010. Focused on high quality craftsmanship and inventive designs, Zana Bayne’s “Post-Fetish” pieces have been worn by celebrities and aficionados of art and culture.
“Post-Fetish” is a term coined by Bayne’s creative partner Todd Pendu as “decontextualizing traditional fetish gear into aesthetic accessories to be incorporated into everyday wear.” Zana Bayne grew a cult audience with the personal style and San Francisco nightlife blog “Garbage Dress.” By 16, Bayne began her studies in Conceptual Art at San Francisco Art Institute.
Soon after creating a harness for herself in 2009, she began to receive requests by her following, which led to launching the fashion line. In 2012 Bayne began a full time creative partnership with multi-disciplinary artist Todd Pendu. Nudity and sexuality are constant themes in Todd Pendu’s work, which he sees as the “ultimate expressions of freedom.”
Zana Bayne’s inventive harnesses have been featured in prominent fashion editorials and music videos and worn by numerous rock stars and celebrities. They have also collaborated with luxury brands including Comme des Garçons and Marc Jacobs and have a loyal following worldwide.
Outfits highlighted in this show include both replicas and originals of those worn by Lady Gaga, Madonna, Katy Perry, Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj.
“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” (exhibit): The exhibition features more than forty artists working across a variety of mediums and genres, including film, video, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, and craft. Many embrace explicit pleasure and visual lushness as political strategies, and some deliberately reject or complicate overt representation, turning to poetic language, docufiction, and abstraction to affirm ambiguities and reflect shifting physical embodiment. Representing no single point of view, and in some cases presenting productively contradictory positions, “Trigger” assembles artists for their singular efforts in considering gender’s capacity to represent a more general refusal of stable categorization—a refusal at the heart of today’s most compelling artistic practices.
The artists in “Trigger” share a desire to contest repressive orders and to speculate on new forms and aesthetics—a desire to picture other futures. For many, developing new vocabularies necessarily entails a productive reworking of historical configurations. A number of artists in the exhibition—including Josh Faught, Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, Ellen Lesperance, Mickalene Thomas, and Candice Lin—return to archival materials in order to critique, build upon, and explore longstanding debates around intersectionality, alliance, and the project of world-building. Beauty is not supplemental to politics here, but central to the process of positing and building new social structures. The exhibition brings together a range of practitioners, some with a longstanding commitment to activism—such as Nancy Brooks Brody, an original member of the collective fierce pussy, and Vaginal Davis, who has long critiqued systematic oppression tied to gender, race, class, and sexuality—alongside emerging artists such as Sable Elyse Smith, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Chris E. Vargas, whose works variously plumb mechanisms of regulation.
Last modified: September 27, 2018