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Archive: Arts & Culture

Starschnitt_Markues at Kai Matsumiya Gallery_2014

Until the 17th of July New Yorker’s have the opportunity to see Berlin based artist Markues‘ first exhibition in the US at Kai Matsumiya gallery, Lower East Side (invitation card above). Here’s a little preview of Markue’s collages, though which the artist deconstructs historical and contemporary images and turns them into colorful, abstract new bodies of work with a transformative spirit. For more information about the show and the full video of Markues’ installation piece “Meine Welt”, which is also part of the exhibition, please visit the gallery’s website, for exhibition views visit the artist’s website.

Markues, Brothers Left Alive, 2014, mixed media on paper, 60 x 40 cm
Brothers Left Alive, 2014, mixed media on paper, 60 x 40 cm

Markues, Chic Reloaded, 2014, mixed media on paper, 60 x 40 cm
Chic Reloaded, 2014, mixed media on paper, 60 x 40 cm MORE >>>


How can we be a community if we exploit each other? In this wonderfully cynical, yet melancholic and passionate performance / lecture / reading, Berlin based artist and performer Mysti reflects on self-employment and exploitation in the field of cultural production and questions the notion of a queer community by revealing its underlying power-structures in terms of race, class and gender. The lecture mixes performative elements with (queer-)feminist theory and personal anecdotes and was recorded on June 10 at Raumererweiterungshalle Berlin. A text version can be found on Mysti’s blog Fuck Me While I’m Gorgeous.


No, FEM4FEM, a “magazine that celebrates all that is transformative, magical, intersectional, and queer” is not an actual magazine. The cover is a artwork by artist Odera Igbokwe, who posted it on his tumblr earlier this month. But there’s a glimpse of hope this might actually turn into a magazin at some point: “who know where this project will lead me” Odera writes unter the post.


If you happen to be in Berlin in the next weeks and months, I warmly recommend the exhibition “What is Queer Today is Not Queer Tomorrow”, which opens tomorrow evening at 7 at the art space nGbK in Berlin-Kreuzberg with a performance by Pakistani artist Eshan Rafi and a party with DJ’s Svetlana Pall Mall & FordKelly und VJ Black Cracker. The exhibition will run until August 10 and feature works of wonderful artists from Berlin and around the world. Here’s the official announcement text:

“Queer Today is Not Queer Tomorrow explores the theme of queer temporality. The project responds to debates within queer milieus (lesbian, gay, trans*, intersex-, etc.) and to the increasing integration of queer ways of life into the political mainstream. The nGbK becomes an explicit venue of experience, confrontation, reflection, lingering, exchange and departure.

What is ‘queer?’ What was perhaps once queer – and what has been omitted from this framework? What could queer be? The exhibition raises questions about community, identity, visibility and sex; it opens up postcolonial perspectives and tales of lesbian-gay-trans*-bi-inter-queer stories, hair, bodies, porn and capitalism. During the eight-week exhibition, artists will intervene in the white cube of the nGbK. Selected works will enter the space over time or be developed in an ongoing process that visitors can accompany.

Performances will take place at weekly intervals, the documentations of which will also become part of the exhibition space.

What is Queer Today is Not Queer Tomorrow has been conceived and organised by the (heidy) collective, an nGbK project group, which consists of persons working with performance, theory video, text and images – some are people of color, some are identified as cis- or trans-, some are gay or lesbian, some are not.”

More information and the full program on the nGbK website, on heidy’s blog and the exhibition’s Facebook page.
Photo: Florian Ashka, untitled, 2013


“Queer, Ill, & Okay” is an experimental performance series started by Joseph Varisco, founder of the Chicago-based multimedia production collective JRV MAJESTY. The collective has done wonderful and impressive community work over the past 3 years by building platforms for queer artists to connect and express themselves through various forms of performance art. Check out their Vimeo account to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Varisco, who is also responsible for ongoing performance events such as the oral history series Queer Lexicon, the queer performance series LEX·IC·A and the hip hop concert series Queer Cypher (see Vimeo), has initiated “Queer, Ill, & Okay” in 2012 after being diagnosed with HIV. His attempt was to initiate a performative space in order explores the intersections between queerness and living with chronic illness from different perspectives. A space, which allows queer identified people living with HIV and other forms of chronic illness to share their experiences with their community and celebrate their live in all its varieties.

You can now contribute to improve ”Queer, Ill, & Okay” by supporting this Kickstarter campaign, which raises money in order to pay the artists performing at upcoming events of the series, as well as to compensate the people who are professionally documenting them (free online streaming!). Please donate here, only 500$ more dollars are missing. And if you still aren’t convinced, here is the official campaign video, which also features artists of the upcoming events:

The next “Queer, Ill, & Okay” events will take place on Saturday, July 5th (see poster on top) and Sunday, July 6th at 7PM located at Defibrillator Performing Arts Gallery in Wicker Park.


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