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Headmaster, a biannual art magazine, was born last year out of a successful Kickstarter project and is based in Providence, Rhode Island. The zine’s nice concept is to give queer artists “homework assignments” to work on, the results are published in the latest issue. The projects of the 10 very different artists involved in the second issue released this July range from gorgeous paintings of Genet characters by artist Steve Locke to cute black-and-white under-the-shower pictures by German photographer Thomas Weidenhaupt, as well as pictures of a three-dimensional (and very fancy) “biography” of leather pioneer Jim Kane by fiber artist Steven Frost, a beautiful shooting of a hunky guy in a knit rugby uniform designed by artist Joseph Segal and the second episode of an ongoing story by my blogging colleaque and erotic writer Johnny Murdoc. Check it out, the 20$ are a good investment.
JIMMY is a beautifully designed and lovingly edited zine from Los Angeles, with the aim to “preserve and promote that special brand of gayness we do here in LA” – which means that fans of muscles and sun tanned bodies will be rather discappointed by this. Instead, the zine cultivates a certain indie chique I really like and focusses on the less highlighted sides of the gay live in the city. I only have the first issue entitled “Male Intimacy” so far, but find it really promising with stuff like an interview with indie band The Soft Pack‘s drummer Brian Hill, a gorgeous photo series of a cute guy called Jimbo (who does educational music for children), a couple of essays and short stories, and much more. The second issue entitled “The Greenwood” is out now, you should check out the zine’s website or its tumblr for a little preview. To buy JIMMY you have to invest 7$, a subscription with four issues is 24¢. You can order it online or get it in a whole bunch of book shops all around the world (you find a list on the website).
Shaun Leonardo is a New York based visual artist, working in painting, performance and video. His work tackles the hyper-masculine image of the contemporary male, whilst also looking into racial stereotypes and ‘violent’ performances that constitute these stereotypes. His work is bound together with personal experience and expression; creating an almost mythic self portrait of ‘masculinity’.
Kevin Kramp, a young designer born in Minnesota and based in London, has just presented a collection of his amorphous, highly conceptual and colorful knitwear at this year’s International Talent Support (ITS) in Trieste, Italy (you find a couple of pictures of the presentation on Zoot magazine). With the collection he has won the “Modateca Award”, a prize sponsored by Deanna Ferretti, whose knitwear company produces for Kenzo, Yves Saint Laurent and Maison Martin Margiela. Kramp got his BA in Fashion Design and Knitwear at London’s Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in 2009, some of his works are currently exhibited at the “Unravel” knitwear exhibition at Antwerp’s MoMu. For more background information about him check out his portrait in the “Talent” section of Vogue Italy online, his profile on Not Just A Label and this interview on the conceptual dimension of his work for more background. Since Kramp’s website is down at the moment the pictures posted here I have collected from several different websites, this is why the sizes differ. All images courtesy ACM Photography + Kevin Kramp.
No expert on Jack Smith or Mario Montez, I thought I’d share my take on a recent event at the Arsenal in Berlin in honor of Mario Montez and his career (http://www.arsenal-berlin.de/en/arsenal-cinema/current-program/single/article/2819/2803.html). Apparently Mario and representatives from the Arsenal – where you can find a full collection of all of Jack Smith’s films – have recently appeared at least in Poland and New York, so keep your eyes out for an appearance near you.
The evening opened on the building’s roof with a small but excited group of starlets – Mario Montez, Zazie de Paris and Vaginal Davis, among others – and their friends, groupies and fans singing a round of “happy birthday” over a multi-layered chocolate cake to Mario Montez who, it was announced, celebrated a birthday 10 days earlier. Mario’s age became a popular albeit de-emphasized conversation topic throughout the festivities, although in the end nobody cared enough to ask. From the party’s opening till its close, Mario sat – elegant and reserved – in a love seat in the corner awaiting a line of guests, all anxious to get her autograph for the minimal – perhaps ironical – fee of 2 Euros.
Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006) started his carreer in the late 40ies/early 50ies when he started taking pictures for the first international homosexuals’ magazine «Der Kreis/Le Cercle» (The Circle), for which he worked under the alias “Jim”. In the late 50ies he started portraying the style of the “Halbstarke” (“half strongs” / greasers), a youth culture dominated by young men from the working-class, who where mixing elements of the fashion of the American pop culture figure of the “rebel” (which was especially associated with the biking culture of the time and male icons such as James Dean and Elvis) with their own ideas of a non-conformism and delinquent fashion. The book “Rebel Youth” published by Rizzoli in February brings together these pictures of the Swiss subculture of the sixties and is an awesome document not only of the stylistic playfulness and inventiveness of the early youth cultures, but also of Weinbergers “authentic” style. The book features a foreword by John Waters and can be ordered via Rizzoli. Here’s a little preview:
Beth Ditto performs Madonna’s “Vogue” at Moscow Miller party.
+++ Hercules & Love Affair member Aérea Negrot will release her first solo album Arabxilla in September. You can download and stream the album track “Love You From The Brain” right here (if you’re able to find the little signs in the black window below):
+++ JD Samson’s MEN (interview with Catch Fire here) have just recorded an awesome 4-track-set with new songs for Daytrotter.com. You can download it here by signing up to the site (which is completely worth it) +++
+++ †DRESSER is a pretty weird and funny “witch house / drag” spoof project from Berlin. The guys have just released they’re first single “It’s a Choice”, a queer reaction to Gaga’s “Born this Way”. You can watch the video here and download the song via Bandcamp +++
+++ I also proudly present the new video by Blood Orange, whose wonderful song “Dinner” I posted here a while ago. “Sutphin Boulevard” is the first single from the forthcoming album “Coastal Grooves” released on Domino Records. The video was shot by Alan Del Rio Ortiz, who happens to have a very nice blog on his homepage by the way.
Four years ago, performance artist Marina Abramović asked director Robert Wilson to co-write and stage on a piece about her live. Now “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” has celebrated it’s world premiere at the Manchester International Festival, where the show (which features the artist herself, Antony and William Defoe and music by Matmos), was shown last week. As far as I could figure out the play will tour around the world in 2012 (maybe even earlier) and be shown at a couple of theaters in Europe such as the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Theater Basel.
Here are a couple of promising clips from one of the rehearsal some nice person posted on YouTube, check out the MIF website for a video statement by Abramovic herself and two other preview videos. Picture on top by Lucie Jansch.
Nikolaj Tange Lange is half the unapologetically queer, in-your-face duo Nuclear Family (check out our Pick 5 feature from earlier this year), although he’s recently shown a softer side with two EPs of cover versions, available for free download at his Bandcamp. Aside from some alt-rock standards by the likes of Pavement and Sebadoh, he transformed Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams” into a lo-fi anthem and queered Swedish indie popper Håkan Hellström’s “Den fulaste flickan i världen” into “The Ugliest Boy in the World”. Nikolaj took the time to offer Catch Fire some insight on his selections, below.
Berliners can catch his live performance for Alexander‘s In Sedes on Monday, July 18 at Silver Future (where he’ll be selling a brand new EP Songs I Wrote When I was Young), and he’ll DJ as part of «Mort à la Différence» (with Light Asylum and Kool Thing live) on Saturday, July 23 at Chez Jacki.
Nuclear Family, meanwhile, are about to release two 8-minute techno remixes of “I Won’t Do E Tonight” and will perform live at this September’s Queertopia Festival in Norborg, Sweden.