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My first time I came upon the work of Los Angeles artist Margaret Haines was when I found her beautiful video she made for her friend Dan Bodan‘s single “Nudity and Atrocity”, which was released in spring last year. The video is one of her artistic “trailers” anticipating her feature movie “Coco”, which will be released later this year. For the film Haines invented “Coco”, a female character, who she characterises as “very girly, hysteric and into horses” and who tries to deal with her delusions of making it in the pop business.
After a performance at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), a sound installation at the Cirrus Gallery, and a sculptural presentation at Commonwealth and Council Gallery, Haines has just recently finished another two studies of the Coco character. The first one is the book “Coco x Love With Stranger”, which was launched with an event at the LA book stork Ooga Booga in December. The publication references the style of Eigthies’ fanzines and teen pulp novels and like the film is loosely based on motives of the story of Don Quixote, exploring different facets of female identity. It is published by New Byzantium in an edition of 500.
The second new “trailer” is a collection of silk scarfs, which are printed with stills from the “Coco” films and which you can discover on the pictures below. For more information about the film and her work please visit Margaret Haines website.
LE1F has released his new single “Coins” via Soundcloud today. The track (originally produced for the Norwegian hip hop act A-laget by Norwegian producers Drippin & Souldrop last year) will be on his
upcoming mixtape “Fly Zone” which will be out next Monday (download here):
Cakes the Killa is about to release his new mixtape (album?) “The Eulogy” via Mishka Records on Tuesday. The first single is called “Goodie” and is the ideal continuation of his debut tape “Easy Bake Oven” from 2011:
The members of House of Ladosha will be featured in a group exhibition entitled “The Whole House Eats” at Superchief Gallery, NYC, which opens on February 7th and will for run week. Will will provide more information soon. Meanwhile, here’s the latest Ladosha track ”9 OR 11″:
Amos Mac and Rocco Katastrophe, the founders and editors of the Brooklyn based trans male culture magazine Original Plumbing, have big plans for 2013 – and I’m not talking about the flashy 2.0 edition of their “Original” snapback that they’re selling online right now (see picture to the left by Amos with model Neon Ladosha). The duo has just launched a crowd-funding campaign to revive and extend the magazine’s website, which they’ve turned into a regularly updated web zine and online community platform for trans male culture over the past two years. With the growing amount of blogs posts and articles by great contributors or video projects such as the “Talk About It” campaign the site has now reached a point where according to its makers it not only needs a new coat of paint, but has to be rebuild and restructured from scratch + needs new editors to maintain it. Furthermore, Amos and Rocco are planning to extend the website into a platform that is able to represent the trans* community in its entirety, which would make it even more important than it already is. The relaunch is scheduled for April.
If you want to support this ambitious make-over project please donate generously via Indiegogo and you will be rewarded with great thank you gifts such as one-month free access to queer/trans* related video portals, collectable stickers of pop icons, the sold-out 1st edition of OP, handmade shirts & bags, a personal dance lesson by Jessica 6 choreographer Georgia Maxine Sanford or a private dinner with the OP makers. And if all of this doesn’t convince you, I’m pretty sure this official campaign video will:
Sleepless Knights is the first full-length feature film by German directors Stefan Butzmühlen and Cristina Diz and was shot in 2011 with amateur actors from the virtually unknown area of Spain’s Extremadura region. The world premiere took place during the 62nd Berlin Film Festival in the section „Forum“, since then the film has been has been shown at film festivals around the world such as the San Sebastian International Film Festival in September 2012 or the Gothenburg Film Festival later this month. The film has it’s official start in German cinema’s next Thursday and will be shown in the following theaters (Spanish with German subtitles): FSK Berlin, Filmhaus Nürnberg, Werkstattkino München, Filmpalette Köln.
For more information about the movie plase download this press sheet (PDF), which contains the storyline and a statement from the directors in English and German. In addition, here’s one of three beautiful teasers for the film, for the second and the third one please visit the YouTube page of the GayFilmnacht (Gay Film Night) Berlin.
Photographer and writer Ren Hang was born in Changchun, the capital of the Jilin provinc in northeastern China. Today he lives and works in Beijing, where he has just recently graduated from the Advertising Department of the Communication University of China. His playful, bold and often grotesque photographs of nudes are currently featured in the exhibition “Secret Love” at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden. The exhibition runs until March 31 and highlights the work by contemporary Chinese artists, focussing on questions of identity and sexuality. You find more of Hang’s photograpy on his Tumblr and on his website, where he also publishes his poems and where you can order his self-publisehd books. For a short portrait of the artist by “Secret Love” curator Si Han check out the museum’s website. All pictures posted below where shot in 2012 and are published here with the kind permission of the artist.
“Bullying is a national sport in Lebanon. You can’t walk down the street without getting catcalls and snide remarks. The way I see it, there’s no sense in being melodramatic about it. Buy a pair of noise canceling headphones, raise the volume on your Mykki Blanco mix, and keep walking.” (Hamed Sinno, singer of the lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in the current issue of My.Kali magazine. “Fasateen” can be found on the band’s self-titled first album from 2012)
Thanks to everyone who took part in our poll for the best music video 2012! I’m happy to announce that the winner of the award is artist Alex Anwandter with his beautiful video to his single “Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo?”, which got more than 70% of the votes: A clear result, which shows that Alex has a strong fan base in his home-country Chile and around the world. To get a little more information about the video, which was shot in a club in Santiago, I’ve done a little Q&A with Alex in which he speaks about the background of the song’s lyrics and the idea behind the clip. Here’s the interview:
As far as I know the lyrics of the song are responding to a brutal crime against a gay man in Chile, which happend recently. How does the video relate to this?
That’s somehow inaccurate. The lyrics are based on a personal experience of mine: someone was passing judgement on me and the lyrics are about how certain types of folk go through life doing this, judging others. As I wrote the lyrics, however, I realized that they worked well as a metaphor for discrimination (“Even though they say it’s a sin, I feel like I’m in heaven” goes one line), especially towards sexual minorities.
On Christmas Day the New York Times has published a not very flattering review of artist Justin Vivian Bond‘s new winter show “Snow Angel” by music critic Stephen Holden. The article, which consistently emphasizes the “freakishness”, “harshness” and “troubledness” of the Justin’s show and her personality, reveals more about the author’s obvious problems with a self-confident transgendered person on stage than about the actual event. It feels strangely disconnected, like it’s written by someone who’s horizon of experience with stage shows of any kind is stuck in the Sixties or Seventies. Someone who seems to think that “transgendered” is just a modern word for “drag”.
When I interviewed Abdu Ali Eaton aka Abdu Ali about his “Eat On This” blog earlier this year, he had already released his first song “Banjee Musick” and told me that he was working hard on his career as an artist and performer. Since then, a lot has happened: Abdu has released his first (free) EP “Invictos” with steamy tracks by Schwarz, DJ Lemz, and JLamar, successfully merging influences from Ballroom culture, Witch Hop and Baltimore Club. He has also played a couple of debut gigs in his hometown Baltimore and New York in the last few weeks and has just recently released a new video for the EP track “360″, which pays tribute to his Baltimore community and is a great visualization of his musical approach. New Yorkers will have the chance to see him live in a few days alongside House of Ladosha and Cakes da Killa at the GAZE 4 DAZE New Year’s Eve party at Public Assembly (check out the event on Facebook).
For Catch Fire Abdu has prepared a commented picture series of his five favorite places in Baltimore and gives us a little insight on different aspects of his everyday live. It is the second contribution to our new “Favorite Places” section, which was started by Berlin based artist Rodeo a few weeks ago. Picture on top by Holly Miller.