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Archive: Vaginal Davis

Another suggestions for a nice weekend activity if you’re in New York: The next three days are the last days to visit the solo exhibition of Berlin based drag legend Vaginal Davis at Participant Inc. The show, which Artforum describes as a “fun-house tableau full of dizzying, pervy revelations”, is a tribute to the original HAG Gallery, which Vaginal opened in L.A. in the early eighties. It shows some of her most recent work such as the “Various Hags” glamour girl paintings (see picture on the left) or her totemic bread sculptures of contemporary pop stars such as Ryan Gosling or Justin Timberlake. If you can’t make it: You find pictures of the show on the Huffington Post, on the blog of Diane Pernet (who has taken pictures of the opening and of her next-morning breakfast with Vaginal) and on Art in America.

+++ I’m completely in love with “All Hell”, the beautiful debut album of singer / songwriter Daughn Gibson, which was recently released via Mistletone. You can stream and download the album track “In The Beginning” right here – more about the 31 year-old Carlisle, Pennsylvania resident, who also happens to work as a truck driver, on Pitchfork:

+++ NYC rapper Le1f, the guy on top of this post, has finally released his “Dark York” mixtape, and it’s as amazing as I hoped it would be. Stream and download it right here:

+++ Also finally out: Light Asylum‘s self-titled debut album. Here’s the stream for the complete record:

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A whole bunch of cultural theorists (most notably Susan Sonntag with her essay “Notes on ‘Camp’“ from 1964) has already tried to define what “camp” is, but the term has always remained ambiguous and like words such as trash or porn is usually used in very subjective ways. There also has never been a real “update” of what camp could mean today, in times in which it seems to happens less frequently that products of mass culture or practices of queer subculture such as drag appear to be naive and genuine enough to actually call them campy.
A new very promising sounding festival entitled “Camp/Anti-Camp: A Queer Guide to Everyday Life” at HAU theater Berlin will now try to revitalize the discourse around camp and ask for the relevance of the term, especially for contemporary queer culture. The 3 day-long event (April 19-21) curated by Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel is packed with queer highlights such as a performance of Warhol star Holly Woodlawn (picture on top), concerts of rock artists such as Jayne County and Kembra Pfahler (with her band “The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black”) and further stage appearances of performance artists such as the New York downtown legend Carmelita Tropicana, Brooklyn-based Narcissister and the Austrian artist-duo Jakob Lena Knebl/Hans Scheirl and others.
The shows will be accompanied by various lectures and presentations by theorists and artist such as Douglas Crimp, Diedrich Diederichsen, Elizabeth Lebovici, José Muñoz, Juliane Rebentisch, Bruce LaBruce and Richard Move. The daily line-up will be concluded daily with a Vaginal Davis‘ talk show performance “Speaking from the Diaphragm” and is complemented by a film program at Arsenal cinema.
The movie series will already start next week with film classics “Copacabana” (March 19) and “Salome” (March 23). For tickets and more (German) information check out HAU Online, for the “Camp/Anti-Camp” film series check out the Arsenal website.

The Queer Zine Archive Project, an online archive based in Milwaukee and run by a group of 6 anonymous people since 2003, is collecting queer zines from the last three decades and making them available online for free. I really recommend spending some time over there, since it’s a a really entertaining lesson in queer history full of real treasures such as a all issues of J.D., the legendary queercore zine by G.B. Jones and Bruce LaBruce from the late eightis/early nineties or hilarious zines by Vaginal Davis, such as “Evil Taco” or “Yes, Mrs. Davis”. They also have an “Calls For Submission” section in case you have you’re own zine and still search for contributiors or want to publish your own stuff.

Here are a couple of my favourite covers of zines you can find in the archive, starting with my favourite one, the cover of the 4th issue of the “Queer Fuckers Magazine” from Salt Lake City, Utha, published in 1992. For mor of them click here:

www.qzap.org

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Bruce LaBruce‘s theatre project “The Bad Breast” starring Susanne Sachse, Katharina Klevinghaus and Vaginal Davis premiered in December 2009 and was shown at HAU theater, Berlin and at brut, Vienna. For the play La Bruce and his assistant have shot a couple of lo-fi-footage-sequences in the streets of Berlin, which in the play were shown between the scenes and highlight the main motives of Planningtorock’s soundtrack for the project. La Bruce has now re-edited the material into a film, which is currently presented as a stream on Dazed Digital and comes along with an interview with La Bruce. Click here to watch it.

I’m a little late with this: Drag legend Vaginal Davis is currently showing a 10-day-long performance piece at 122, a performance space in New York. Following the  text on the PS 122 website the show “re-examines the heyday of 1970s American daytime television chat and variety programs. (…) Ms Davis isn’t interested in assimilating into the mainstream entertainment complex, but instead wishes to dissect a kind of TV staple and reconfigure it by presenting an array of live and Skype guests from the various worlds of literature, dance, theatre, film and art.” Amongst the illustrious guests of the upcoming evenings are Bruce LaBruce, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, Slava Mogutin, JD Samson & MEN, Johanna Fateman, Genesis Breyer P-Orrigge and Joel Gibb. More about the show on the website of PS 122, Vaginal Davis’ blog. You also find a few pics of the appearence of Brian Kenny and Gio Black Peter two days ago on Slava Mogutin’s blog. The picture on top of this post is part of this series.

“I like underarm smell, but I’m not big on stinky breath. I’m okay with like, you know, a sweaty crotch or maybe one days worth of filth. I appreciate good oral hygiene.” Joel Gibb (Hidden Cameras) via BUTT Magazine

“When it comes to performance art, I am more interested in the failures then the so-called successes. I have never cared for entertaining anyone. My performances may have elements that some may find entertaining, but that’s not my main purpose. If you want pure entertainment value just go and see something like Stomp or Blue Man Group.” Vaginal Davis via Interview Magazine

“In fact, I sniffed her like a kind of aggressive beast. And as we got closer, she actually put her tongue in my mouth. She just went for it. It was really good.” Heather Cassils via Out.com (and yes, the rest of the interview is interesting as well)