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Friday, November 27, 2009

Attacked by insomnia the other evening which made early morning rehearsals seem like they dragged on infinitum. The beautiful Beth Ditto and her band The Gossip blew into town along with Cody Critchloe and his art kollective SSION. Judy LaBruce and I were put on the guest list and given VIP all access passes. Judy went into photographer mode snapping pictures like she was at the opening of a bag of potatoe chips. Amazing show by Ms. Ditto and company. The starina of starinas was suffering from bronchitis, but it didn´t show in her performance or enthusiasm. She is the ultimate professional and gives her audience 300%. Gossip manager Tara, aka: Annie Oakley of the Sex Workers Art Tour was also looking ravishing wearing an Anna Karenina chapeau. Sweet Cody Critchloe looks like the bastard child of Liza Minnelli and John (Gomez Adams) Astin. I love his mid-western Southern whimsy. Cody has also become quite the art star and will present his new electronic rock opera at Peres Projects Gallery in Los Angeles come Januar. The generous Ms. Ditto also bestowed upon the doll an Issey Miyake gown and Ferragamo perfume which I will wear on Saturday at HAU 2 8pm when i participate in Plattenspieler with Thomas Meineke. Being a fashion icon the Lady Ditto has been given a collection of wonderous couture from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld who considers her his new muse. After the incredible sold out performance Judy LaBruce took the band to Chantal´s House of Shame for some oldskool debauchery.

Just received a sweet little missive from lovesexy academic, critic with Freize Magazine and live artist Dom Johnson:

Hey VD

Lovely to hear from you. I had a wonderful time in New York too -- just got back to London a few hours ago after a nightflight. Was sorry to have missed you by a day. Slava Mogutin and Brian Kenny are the best hosts, and really took care of me. I got lots done, including a bit of Jack Smith research, visited lots of exhibitions (some actually quite good), showed some performance documentation in a queer video festival, and went out to bars and clubs -- we went to a totally obscene blatino hustler bar, where boys in g-strings were getting rimmed on tables. It was straight out of Samuel Delany or something. Early in the week I had a very hot night with a babyfaced tattooed lovemachine. He's what Slava calls a "pussythug". I am now wondering why I meet perfect boys in other countries, from Toby in Berlin to the pussythug in New York. Maybe I let my guard down on holiday, or capitalise on being a temporary exotique, or else all the London boys are simply less interesting?

I also met your girlfriend writer Bruce Benderson, and we seemed to really hit it off. What a riot he is! It was the most peculiar night, as he had a British Peter Berlin lookalike staying with him, who is living as Berlin circa 1975, and doing a project where he gets photographed in Berlinish poses by superstar photographers. He even got the aging original Peter Berlin to photograph him as his youthful self, which is pretty perverse. So while Slava was photographing the new PB (with a Dutch bowl haircut, in slutty white string pantyhose, cowboy boots and a little silk neckerchief), Bruce treated me to all sorts of cultural marginalia, from his memories of Manuel Puig and Jean-Pierre Aumont, to his photos of hustlers. He gave me his book of essays, Sex and Isolation, and I sat and read it cover to cover. Have you read it?

Yes I read Ian White's review of Live Film!Jack Smith! I've seen him around but I don't know him. I thought it was a really tight-arsed and ungenerous piece of writing. Maybe he just doesn't get the work. I can see how the event might have been repellent to people who only favour smartass conceptual bullshit.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Upon arriving in New York for Performa Biennale everyone i ran into asked me about LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! The word had definately spread about this momentus event. Finally I can finish my reportage on LIVE JACK!FILM SMITH! as i like to call it. The first day of the festival Jerry Tartaglia gave a humourous talk on the restoration process called Lost & Found followed by a short conversation with co-curator Marc Siegel and Superstar Mario Montez. Siegel and Ms. Montez had a much longer more formal power point presentation on Friday. During the break Gordon W. & his Greasy Spoon Catering Co. provided exotic munchies. In the Arsenal Atrium was a pearl installation by Daniel Hendrickson and Senol Senturk with more installations in the Rote Foyer and Black Box by John Heys, Michael Krebber, Klaus Mettig, Uzi Parnes, Kiki Peterson, Jerry Tartaglia and luscious young Sean Kirk. The first day of the festival heralded some fantastic premieres including a new short subject by legendary feminist director Ulrica Ottinger called Still Moving, a slide show by Wilhelm Hein and a whimsical Smithian romp by French gamine Maria Losier called Slap the Gondola that featured Tony Conrad and Genesis. P. Orridge as mermaids.
On the second day i could have shot myself in the arm for missing a lecture by Callie Angel of the Whitney. Ms. Angel is one of the most articulate speakers in the institutional art world, and she bring great foresight and clarity to whatever subject matter she touches. Her tome on Jack Smith & Andy Warhol Batman/Dracula had everyone in the festival buzzing. I did get to hear dapper Diedrich Diederichsen who teaches at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst in Wien, and he along with Douglas Crimp are true academic starinas.
Later it was nice seeing a much more subdued Penny Arcade in conversation with booty pie Tim Stüttgen. Of the film premieras Tim Blue´s The Legacy was witty and rumbunctious featuring live performers re-acting and acting with filmed sequences. Tim´s LA fashion designer boyfriend Cornel Collins made an excellent Smith doppelganger, and the musical accompanyment by kJohnny Blue added to the merriment. After the screening the filmmaker did an impromptu striptease which added to the festive mood. Theater of 8, featuring glamazon Chloe Griffin and Gwenael Rattke presented Ramadan in Space Time a raucaus Super 8 film performance that featured many familiar local faces. This wasn´t a world premiere but it certainly fit in with the proceedings.
On Friday, the film premier that stole everyone´s heart was Charming For the Revolution by the lovely Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz that featured a dynamic performance from the intoxicating Werner Hirsch. Of course LF!JM! had its naysayers, and no one is more of a nay then artist/curator(hiccup)Miss Ian "Gorgeous" White of London´s Whitechappel Gallery. If you´re interested in reading what the twee art careerist had to say here is a link provided by one of my pals at the Tate Modern: Its perfectly naff, and just what you´d expect from someone of his icky icy patrician ilk.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

SRO crowds at Schwuz Mehringdamn as Bruce „Judy“ LaBruce and i tagteam dj´d behind them mighty wheels of steel from midnight to 5am. Judy was her usual loveable self insulting the audience while taking nips from a bag of wilde mushrooms and downing enough vodka shots and rum& coke to float Fire Island. While in her inebriated state she announced on the PA system a need for poppers that was quickly responded to by none other then actress Nastassia Kinski, with a handsome young male companion(was it one of her kids from her marriage to Quincy Jones?) Seen dancing shirtless and sports bra-less writer Travis Jeppeson, Slovakian graphic artist Mario D. with Tennessee Clafin the concubine to A list Hollywood directors Gus Van Sant and Bryan Singer, Brazillian performance artist Nando Messias with Lisa Schmidt and Michael Giardina who are part of the new Hebbel Am Ufer theater piece The Bad Breast about female hysteria that La Bruce is directing that will premier on Dec 10th at HAU2 then go on tour to Vienna. In this third stage collaboration with Judy LaBruce, the first being Cheap Blacky in 2007 and the second Macho Family Romance, Susanne Sachsse and I once again play sisters. This time identical twins. I am not going to reveal anything more.
Having a hoot of a time dancing to a mixture of showtunes, hardcore California style punk and indie rock madness: Piero Bellomo of La Collezione, Daniel Hendrickson the translator to the stars, lovesexy Enrico Dallman, artists Elly Clark with actress Franka Potenta, Katja Maya, Evi Rüssler, Tim Stutkin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Michael von Fischbach, Yusuf Etiman- the guro of Basso, scholar Tavia Nyongo, Michael Scatturo, Christian F. Webber, ballet dancer Juan Martin del Potra and his beau the Prinze of Prinzlauber Daniel Brühl.
Sorry that I didn´t finish writing about Live Film! Jack Smith! or the Performa Biennale, I will try and rectify that situation soon. Want to give thankx to my Philly art school crew: Alex Hollenbach, Emily Schumacher & Julia Rexon who created and designed the wearable sculpture that was the costumes for PME plus NYU students Jean Kim provided the gorgeous video montages that were projected on pillars in the performance space, and Max Vernon who was my fey PA.
The big gossip about Performa 2009 Biennale was the ostentatious opening party which featured chopped down apple trees so that guests could just pick one from the branches and a supply of honey dipped ribs that mainly went uneaten. Rich people don´t eat, thats how they stay skinny. I hadn´t arrived to New York for the opening festivities, but my spies told me that it was quite wasteful that most of these ribs were thrown away at the end of the evening. Imagine throwing away good food when people are starving. Never saw RoseLee Goldberg as she didn´t come to any of the events i was a part of, but i did get to snoogle from her handsome young son Pierce Jackson who I would love to get into bed. I was told that he is a rice queen, so unless i have a race conversion into an Asian girl I don´t stand a chance with him. Too bad.
I was kept so busy that I didn´t see any Performa events. But i heard that Fischerspooner performed, along with Terence Koh, Mike Kelly and a piece by Israeli artist and Berlin resident Keren Cyter. I like Keren. She is an art world careerist like no other, but there is something about her damage that fascinates me.
Participant Inc. Gallery, a not for profit space which is run by the gorgeous Ms. Lia Gangitano and the Nothing Up My Sleeve exhibition was also staged in conjunction with Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing: The Works of Stuart Sherman curated by John Hagan, Yolanda Hawkins and John Matturri at NYUs 80WSE Gallery and a screening of selected films and Videos of Stuart Sherman curated and hosted by Berenice Reynaud at NYUs Einstein Auditorium.
Oops i am so dumb i forgot that Sherrie & Ernie the legendary New York experimental film couple were at my Performa show at Santos and also Nao Bustamante. I know I am forgetting many others, and i will do the complete list when i get it from Lia of Participant who did the door and knows just who came and who didn´t.
Yes i also promised to post the lyrics of the new PME song Sity of Sinn, so here they are:

LA is the sity the sity was in LA is the sity of Sinn
The girls are all pretty as pretty as boys and that is the state that they´re in
LA is the sity the sity digs in LA is the sity of Sin
The smell of amnesia a portnoy upend and thats just a means to an end

Your penis, my gina your hienous, my heinous
Your grievance, convenience your enus my anus

Death panels by Chanel death paneling cartel
Death index Costume Nationelle

You are sliding down that slippery, slithery, salacious slope of socialism
Natering, niggery, nabobs of negativism
Hopeless, hysterical hissy, hippy hypopchondriacs
Catty, cunty, congenital ca-liars
Speaking ex-edrin ex-cathedral

Besides studio visits with grad students I also did artist talks for several colleges including a big artist talk at the Tisch Building at NYU for the performance studies department who have a brand new amphitheatre complete with disco mirror ball. This presentation was facilitated by juicy grad student Aliza Schvartz, who became a cause celebre when she was at Yale University as an undergrad and did a series of abortion related performances that rocked that campus. Aliza attended Ron Athey´s performance art boot camp in the high desert with Julie Tolentino and Heather of Toxic Titties, so it was like I had known her all along. Also Leon Hilton the cute and cuddly 23 year old is a black sheep member of the Hilton dynasty who has disowned himself from his wealthy clan. At my talk was Jack Waters, Richard Move who was part of the Jackie 60 Family and is getting his Phd in Performance Studies—Ms. Move does a salute to Martha Grahamn that you have to see to believe, Caroline Dinshaw of Queering the Renaissance fame, young zinestar Max Steel and actor James Franco who is in the film department at NYU but has shown quite an interest in all things queer --ODing on queer cinema studies and queer theory. Perhaps Mr. Franco has a little sugar in his tank. Was reunited at my artist talk with the lovely Russian, Armenian grad student Mashinka Firunts and her dapper husband Jeremy. Both were regulars at my Club Bricktops at the Parlour Club in Hollywood. Ms. Firunts is now going to school at Columbia. Later she and her spouse took me to dinner at the Freeman Sporting Club on Rivington Street on the lower east side where i had some yummy comfort food and the best vodka gimlets in all of Christendom.