Teengirl Fantasy (actually a 20-something boy reality) are currently on tour in Europe, gearing up for the release of their new album Tracer. It follows the NYC duo’s self-titled CD-R release, 2010′s breakthrough 7AM and the recent non-album single “Motif” on their new home R&S Records, who will officially release Tracer on August 21 — although underdog True Panther will handle the limited LP edition with lenticular art, pressing just 250 copies.
Artist Mikey McParlane is based in Chicago and as far as I could find out just finished his master in film, video, new media & animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I recently stumbled upon this YouTube documentary about him made in conjunction with a piece entitled “Apocalypse in the Pleasure”, which he showed earlier this year at the project space New Capital. In the video he names artists such as Antony, Leigh Bowery and Charles Atlas as influences for his expressive, campy and ironic videos and performances, and I guess would add Björk (fuzzy hair), Matthew Barney (gooey stuff) and Klaus Nomi (opera) to that list. The videos posted here show two different sides of his interdisciplinary work: The first one is an excerpt of a performance shown at the 5th New Blood Performance Festival from November last year (originally “Long Live the Knife” is a video installation). The second one, “Love Puddles”, was realized in collaboration with artist Michael Mallis and has just recently been featured in the book project “Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities”.
For more information about the artist check out the already mentioned documentary, his Vimeo page or his website (a little out of date). He also has a nice tumblr.
Since Diplo has released the five-year-old song “Ima Read” on his Mad Decent label and designer Rick Owens has used the track for the runway show of his fall/winter 2012/13 collection, Zebra Katz and his collaborator Njena Reddd Foxxx are on an incredible triumphal march. A nice side effect of the massive coverage and its heavy bent on fashion magazines and blogs are the loads of beautiful pictures of the next-generation-hip-hop duo taken by great photographers and artists. Here’s my personal tribute gallery:
A collection of black and white pictures taken from Zanele Muholi‘s ongoing photo project “Faces and Phases” were one of my personal highlights of this year’s Documenta 13, a huge contemporary art exhibition, which takes place every five years in the city of Kassel, Germany. Cape Town based artist Muholi has started the series in 2006 to portrait queer women from South Africa and later decided to expand it into a project, that also expresses the loss that queer and trans* people around the world have experienced due to diseases and hate crimes. “Faces and Phases” was published as a book in 2010 and is shown next to Muholi’s documentary “Difficult Love” from 2010 at the Documenta. Sorry my picutres shown here are a little blurry, it was quite crowded at the exhibition so I had little time to shoot them. All portraits can also be found on the website of Michael Stevenson gallery.
To see the pictures especially moved me, because it reminded me of the fact that Muholi just recently was a victim of a crime: 20 external hard drives containing all the work she produced between 2008 and 2012 were stolen from her apartment in Vredehoek, Cape Town. Since only a few other things are missing it looks like the thieves have targeted the artist in her role as a queer activist. You can still support her by donating money via IndieGogo, where a project was launched to replace her photo equipment.
Today is the official opening night of Dirty Looks: On Location, a month-long series of queer interventions in New York City spaces, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter about a month ago. Throughout the whole month of July, film and video works of queer artists will be installed in former queer locations around the city - 31 events over 31 days. The line-up, which is now out, is pretty amazing, combining rarely screened gems by heroes such as AA Bronson, Mike Kuchar, William E. Jones, Charles Atlas, Jack Smith or Marlon Riggs with contributions by emerging queer artists such as Kalup Linzy or Heather Cassils. For the whole program please visit the On Location website or download the a map will a full calendar right here. The event will start today at Participant Inc. with a performance entitled “Unauthorized Interviews”, a live re-enactment of an interview between Jane Pauley, Steve Rubell, Michael Jackson and Liza Minnelli, embodied by Tara Mateik, K8 Hardy and friends (see picture on top).
Here’s also another one of the “location portrait” videos that were made in conjunction with the event and that reveal the history of former queer spaces:
Signified is an exciting online documentary series by Anna Barsan and Jessie Levandov (see picture below). The Brooklyn based filmmakers portray queer artists, activists and scholars in short video profiles, with the goal “to increase the visibility of queer identified individuals and organizations as well as create local, regional, and international networks for strategic community organizing and resource sharing.” The project started as a successful funding on Kickstarter in 2011 (over 20,000$!) and consists of so far 13 very beautiful and professionally edited videos – a very entertaining way to get to know people from different backgrounds, who all have shaped queer culture and politics in their individual ways. The first season, which has started with interviews with protagonists such as artist and activist Carlos Motta (who’s web project “We Who Feel Fifferently” we already posted about), writer, scholar and activist Darnell Moore, or the bklyn boihood collective, was completed in spring and is now followed by a second one, which has started in April. To make the series more international and expand their networks, Barsan and Levanov have also brought the project to a couple of Latin American countries, so there’s really a lot to look forward to. I’ve posted the most recent Signified episode below, it’s a portrait of poet and spoken-word artist Kit Yan. You can watch the rest of the series on the Signified website, where you also find a collection of useful links to websites of queer organizations and to articles by and about queer writers, artists etc. So to conclude: This really is the kind of stuff I love the internet for.
Another really nice song and video I found on the Iberoamerican pop blog club fonograma. Alex Anwandter is based in Santiago de Chile, his single “Cómo Puedes Vivir Contingo Mismo?” (“How can you live with yourself”) and the album “Rebeldes” were released last year on the artist’s label 5PM. The lyrics of the song deal with brutal murder of a young gay man called Daniel Zamudio, who was killed by neo-Nazis. The murder sent a shockwave throughout the country, Zamudio family revealed to the media that Anwandter had been his favorite artist. With the beautiful new video shot at a bar in Santiago (which is anything else but shocking), another homage to voguing culture as shown in “Paris is Burning”, the song has a real potential to spread around the world. You can currently download the song together with two nice remixes on Anwandter’s website. If you want to stream the whole album click on “Home”.
For Bushwick Open Studios (BOS) 2012, Go! Push Pops premiered their lesbian-gangsta-erotica ‘Push Porn’ on 2 screens at Homero’s Barbershop, a local business where they filmed a segment of the video with their stylist Ecua. Starring local hustla celeb “Strawberry,” Push Porn is a nastay lucid dream about drugs, popsicles and gentrification at the frontier of the avant-ghetto. The opening party and world premier of the ‘Push Porn’ included scalp design specials by Ecua the official Push Pop barber, free limited edition posters, bootleg porn & beer.
Not Your Typical Pansie-Ass White Cube
While many artists prepared for the largest yet Bushwick Open Studios by white washing their walls and spending a fortune on collector-friendly hors d’oeuvres, the Push Pops spent the months leading up to the 500+ studio strong event earning hood brownie points at a Dominican-style Barbershop on Wilson Ave. During a landmark year for both BOS and the growing (aka rapidly gentrifying) neighborhood of Bushwick, what the popular ArtFagCity Blog calls a year in which “visitors were about as likely to find artists making fairy art as artists with gallery representation,” the Push Pops shaved hearts into their scalps and humped the windows of the barbershop as they promoted the world premier of their bootleg porno.
In a neighborhood increasingly overrun by the ‘privileged poor’ where community life isn’t as integrated as we’d like to think, what began as an act of reckless summer abandon, ultimately served the task of community building and solidarity. Wielding sex appeal that could part the red sea, Go! Push Pops took feminism into the macho lair of the barbers and the macho lair of the barbers into Fine Art. At the end of the day… most of the upper crust culture vultures of the BOS cohort there to peep the artist ghetto wouldn’t dare step foot inside Homero’s despite the jiggly Push Pop junk and aggressive projectile Feminism: Bitch Bow Down! This is off the grid, in your face Lesbian Gangsta Hip Hop Feminism! We taunted from the front door. Those that did were greeted with wall to wall female produced porn, intoxicated Dominican teenagers with sharp utensils and enough marijuana residual to hotbox a semi.
While we made crossroads into the male barbershop culture, selling porn curbside to passersby as well as those that came to get a shape up, we meanwhile broke up a marriage and rattled several relationships forced to fend off jealous lovers like island mosquitoes. We almost got swallowed up in our own fantasy when rumors started to circulate that we were being spied out for a prostitution ring and we started to believe them. We were called ‘white girls’ although we ain’t all white. Push Pop co-director Crystal, being Chilean born, is bilingual and on a temporary visa which means in some ways she shares more in common with the boys of the barbershop then the MFA-clad hipsters reading her as white. Ultimately, the piece spoke most explicitly to constructions of race and realities of class. It asserted post-colonial prerogatives and posed sexual relations as one aperture in the dominant and historical narratives concerning territory, property, belonging, race, religion and social position.