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Archive: Arts & Culture


Edited by AA Bronson and Philip Aarons. Available via Printed Matter.

ZataarIn his video installation “Dance to the End of Love” Beirut based artist Akram Zaatari explores facets of masculinity by collaging YouTube videos by “individuals filming themselves in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, and Libya”. The video was first show as part of his exhibition “The Uneasy Subject” at the MUSAC in Leon, Spain in 2011. For more of Zaatari’s work please check out his Vimeo account or visit his gallery’s website.

Denise Jolly and Sonya Renee are two champion spokenword artists and activists now visiting Europe (dates below). On Thursday 13 February in Berlin, they will have a workshop @ 1730 at Waterloo-Ufer. That same night, Lady Gaby hosts a night of spoken word and poetry with both as special guests.

WORD BANK, the spokenword performance show presents: DENISE JOLLY & SONYA RENEE
Thursday 13 February @ 21:00
Schloss Neuschweinsteiger
Emser Str. 122/123, 12051 Neukölln, Berlin

Denise Jolly Be Beautiful ProjectDenise Jolly is the founder of the Be Beautiful Project, a 30 day visual and public art project that received major international coverage including Huffington Post and Global News Canada.  She is currently the 5th ranked female performance poet worldwide. Denise has taught, performed, and hosted in a wide range of organizations including universities, community centers, and private/public schools. She has also demonstrated a passion and skill for working with student populations and was a past Executive Director of Youth Speaks Seattle. She likes doing great things with amazing people and being moved by art, community and how the two work together.

Sonya Renee The Body Is Not An ApologySonya Renee believes in the life-shifting power of art; its ability to challenge, engage, and heal the human spirit. She is an author, educator, and queer activist who has mesmerized audiences across three continents as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, and public schools. In 2011, a terribly frightening act of posting a profile picture of herself in a saucy black corset turned into an empowering unapologetic act of self-love. This founded the international movement The Body is Not An Apology which is transforming people’s relationships with themselves worldwide and attracts attention from publications like New York Magazine.

Denise and Sonya are additionally performing at the following cities:

  • München 10 Feb @ 20h Poetry in Motion, Lyrik Kabinett, Amalienstraße 83a
  • Hamburg 12 Feb @ 20h Best of Poetry Slam, Ernst Deutsch Theater, Friedrich-Schütter-Platz 1
  • Berlin 13 Feb workshop and performance as described above
  • Frankfurt 14 Feb @ 2030h Poetry Slam! Frankfurt, Café 1, FH Frankfurt, Nibelungenplatz 1


secrets of the living dolls

At the beginning of the new year, Channel 4 of UK broadcasted the programme called “Secrets of the Living Dolls”, exploring the world of “female maskers”; men dressing in elaborate body suits and masks to transform themselves into female dolls. The programme deals with the female masking community from the aspects of individuals’ and their families’ and friends’ approach to the concept, social concerns, notion of beauty as well as the emerged family business of manufacturing a second skin for female maskers all over the world.

The way the interviewees are approached and the remarks in response, however, raised a lot of controversy especially as to whether the programme was serving to heighten awareness about trans issues or undermining the whole process.


Dominique, who is featured in an extra of “Secrets of the Living Dolls”, remarks: “For people to realise that this beautiful, big white woman is really a black man is really… mind-blowing!” Another interviewee, Joel, discusses his masking and coming out to his friends along with his girlfriend.

“Secrets of the Living Dolls” can be streamed on the Channel 4 website (UK only) along with two extra interviews. Shorter clips or the entire documentary is available on Youtube and other more or less legal streaming portals for viewers outside the UK.


via Sang Bleu

Photographer Daisuke Nakashima, whose wonderful work we’ve already featured here in November 2011, has send us a another beautiful series of pictures taken in the past months. Most of them are part of a body of work entitled “fluorescence”, which explores surfaces and textures of different kinds – especially the human skin. For more of Daisuke’s work please visit his website. You also find a pretty recent video interview with him by VICE Japan on YouTube.

browngirlsburlesqueBrooklyn based collective Brown Girls Burlesque is looking for fundings to finance their activities in 2014. You have 10 days to help them reach their goal of raising 18.000$ to cover expenses for a new stage production like a producer, stage decor, salaries for the artists, travel expenses, marketing etc.. You can support the BGB now via Kickstarter. Below you find the campaign video as well as a second teaser videos, more of their work can be found on YouTube and Vimeo.

Kickstarter link

I’m rarely intrigued by queer art. Because it usually just literally focusses on the subject or representation without references to art forms itself. But artist Tom de Pekin, who I just happened to find on web, seems to achieve a certain language, seemingly effortless, combining some contradictions from the history of painting. You might know his art from the poster for the film “Stranger by the Lake” (org. “L’inconnue Du Lac”) Honesty, sadness and vulnerability. Inspiring!

For more of Tom de Pekin’s art please visit his tumblr.



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This recording of the live show “Common Visions” is a rare opportunity for non-New-Yorkers to see the post-drag (don’t find a better word) sisterhood Chez Deep in full force. Watch the collective consisting of Colin Self, Alexis Penney, Hari Nef, Sam Banks, Bailey Stiles re-interprete and transcend songs by artists like Lana Del Ray, PLANNINGTOROCK, Christina Aguilera, Kat Bush, Diana Ross, Imogen Heap and Brownstone through dance and lip-synch pieces full of mystic passion, dark glamour and DIY-creativity. It feels like the show is taking the original political spirit of drag and taking it to a new place by giving it new, contemporary forms of expression. The video was taped by Tony Lowe on June 28 2013 in the Ace Hotel NYC and edited by Drew Bolton. More information about the show and the performers in the “Common Visions” Facebook invitation and this article on, where all Chez Deep members of them share their influences through YouTube videos.

Tokyo based artist Itetsu Ogura turns Bara fans’ kinkiest dreams into campy, action-figure like clay and plastic sculptures. After working as an illustrator for legendary Japanese adult magazines such as Super SM-Z and Barazoku, Ogura decided to work more as an independent artist, focussing especially on watercolor drawings at first, later on the sculptures, which he started producing as gifts for friends. I found them on the website, where you can also purchase them.

Photo by Blioux

We are stoked to premier M. Lamar’s new video “Trying to Leave My Body” taken from the album Speculum Orum: Shackled to The Dead. Directed by the artist himself, the video is a dramatic interpretation of his luscious single shot in black and white.

You can read more about the singer and pianist in an interview we posted earlier this year.

M. Lamar will also perform the theatre piece Surveillance Punishment & The Black Psyche on Saturday, Oct. 26th in New York. Surveillance plunges the deepest darkest depths of interracial desire and our interracial culture. Musically and theatrically the piece explores the internalisation of power and oppression and how blackness is in white supremacy always under surveillance and subject to punishment.

A euro tour will follow with a show in Berlin on Nov. 22nd at the Hans Otto Theater Potsdam. You can get tickets at the box office or by sending an E-mail.

Further dates below:

Södra Teatern-Stockholm, Sweden, November 18th 2013
WAREHOUSE9-Copenhagen, Denmark, November 23rd 2013

Picture: Blioux

Sara Swaty, In Between & Outside, MontyLos Angeles based photographer Sara Swaty‘s ongoing series “In Between & Outside” portrays and documents individual ideas and expressions of gender and aims to show the variety of gender identities beyond the prevailing man-women dualism. Many of her portraits are accompanied by testimonials in which the models describe their perceptions of gender and gender performance.
The series is currently on view at Art of Studio, Los Angeles and will be shown there until October 20th. For more portraits, the testimonials and project updates visit the In Between & Outside website or Sara’s Facebook or Instagram pages. For more of Sara’s work check out her website or her tumblr.

Sara Swaty, In Between & Outside, Monty


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