When Orange is the New Black Fuck Island of Mann announced his run for office last year I think I was the only persona in Christendom who took him seriously. I was the first to say that I don't think he really wants to be President because there is too much actual work involved. Even the laziest of Presidents like horny hedonist Jack Kennedy, once they are in office wind up working their tailfeathers to the bone,and aging accordingly.
Everyones uncle mothers druther laughed and dismissed my queenly opinion that Mr. Orange Ruffy actually stood a good chance of winning the election. I hope I am proven wrong but don't forget who was it that predicted in this very blogina the financial crisis of 2008.
I appologize for neglecting my readers but the Fall Season is always my most active. CHEAP kollektiv along with fearless leader Susanane Sachsse, Marcuse Siegelstein and Daniel Nancy Hendrickson triumphed in Prague with the CHEAP Piano Bar performative installation at the Lucerne Theatre for the Mezipatra QFF. This year's Queer Festival theme was The Limits of Liberty.
Bringing the American concept of the piano bar to Prague was no easy feat, but with the exceptionally generous sponsorship of the
Goethe Institut Praha we accomplished the impossible. The centerpiece of the installation being the fractured placement of a baby grand piano on a staircase. The CHEAPy's served their own cocktails that referenced the Czech Film New Wave, gave out chem sex Anti-Marriage narcotics to the adventurous and even managed to subvert the eastern european nations radiant youth who wound up leaving a fancy dress ball dance recital to partake in the sexual shenanigans and anarchy instigated by CHEAP with help from Ethel Waters, The Carter Family, Phoebe Snow and the Liza Minnelli diet.
Special thankx to Bruce “Judy” LaBruce as our very special tired old queen celebrity guest. Judy was in top form in Prague looking fit and trim and inspiring all the childrens heads with Judyline witticisms as only she can. Judy was the Jury president of the festival and being the party negro that she is was also Djaning at the Off Limits soiree at the Chemistry Gallery. As a special event the festival had a sold out screening of Hustler White celebrating the films 20 year anniversary.
Lots of attractive young people were at the opening night festivities that included a screening of the Austrian film Tom Cat which won the Teddy Award at the Berlinale this year. I found the acting by the feline leads Moises and Katherina thrilling and highly emotive. And I am not exactly a big fan of cats. I guess the moral of the film is that if you are a bougie white couple experiencing male pattern lesbian domesticity don't kill your lovers kitty.
Special thanx to handsome and patrician Jakob Racek of the Goethe Institut Praha who really understands the madness that is CHEAP, and Jakob's wonderful colleagues Isabel and Monika.
Jakob recommended an incredible restaurant called Lokal which had the most exquisite Czech food. Lokal was not far from the Park Hotel where we were housed,
Another shoutout to Pavel Bicek the lovesexxy artistic director of the film festival and his glorious staff of tireless professionals who gave their all to the piano bar. Kissy kisses to Kristyna Henovsova of OffProgram/Off Mezipatra, Jiri, Martin and our ninja security detail headed by Frantz, make-up artistes Jan Janout, Simona Sebikova' who made Susanne and I look like living dreamas, Veronika Koty Kova' who styled my wig in a dramatic Betty Page Pachuca coif.
Received several emugs from people who attended the 4 hour endurance installation of the CHEAP Piano Bar who wanted to know about the insane films that we screened during the evening.The anti-marriage PSA's were made by our very own Fearless Leader Susanne Sachsse, we also showed Hans Scheirl and Ursula Puerrer's Super 8 Girl Games, Pierre Yves Clouin's Cul en l'air, Alicija Zebrowska's The Mystery is Looking, Buddy Cole's Gay Marriage Clip featuring a cameo by Bruce “Judy”LaBruce from Kids in the Hall, “Taking a Chance on Love” number from the 1943 all-black Cabin in the Sky film by Vincente Minnelli and the CHEAPy Underground Uber Alles Award went to the late Vera Chytilova'.
Before going to Prague to do CHEAP Piano Bar I was invited to Hochschule fuer Gestaltung Offenbach Fachbereich Kunst to lecture and give a workshop. Over 300 people crammed into a tiny lecture hall to hear my talk which really surprised me. The wonderful Juliane Rebentisch had been wanting to bring me to Offenbach for some time and it finally worked out. A student group that Juliane is advisor to pulled out all the stops in making me feel very welcome on campus and the students in my workshop scored major homeruns in inventiveness and focus. Special thankx to Arootin Mirzakhani, Anne Graefe and Brenda Lien for making my time in Offenbach so rewarding and fun.
I made a special appearance at the great Hannah Hurtzigs Mobile Academy/Black Market Event at Hamburg's Kampnagel as well. Hannah is one of Germany's hardest working curators and an art innovator par excellance. I first met Hannah back in 2001 in Berlin when she was at the Volksbuhner and I did my piece Sucking Her UnBorn Cock as part of the Rich and Famous Festival at Prater. From the moment I met Hannah I loved her spirit, humour and style.
I've been a special guest at the Mobile Academy at least four times and its always a wonderful experience because like me Hannah is all about the details.
Juicy kissolas to Hannah and her Blk Market Staff of Kyra, Lea, Sarah Lewis of the famous Lewis clan and my handsome film student assistant Maxmillian who was perfect in every way.
Wanted desperately before the election results to tell you what it was like being in Washington DC on the Elmer Occasion of being invited as a keynote presenter at the Creative Time Summit Occupy the Future.
After last year's New York triumph of The Magic Flute and my solo art exhibition Come on Daughter Save Me at Invisible-Exports Gallery I experienced a bonafide New York moment with accolades in the press-New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, Art Forum etc. I remember a time when back in LA in the 1980s the Los Angeles Times would only refer to me as V. Davis if I was mentioned at all. It wasn't until I received my first press in the NY Times in the early 1990s concerning my zine Fertile LaToyah Jackson and the zine movement itself which became this phenomena that the mainstream media decided to run with as a so called predicted “next big thing”
Then the lovely Hilton Als wrote a sweet review and profile off me in the New Yorker in 1991 after I did a packed spoken word reading at the old Different Light Bookstore in Greenich Village. Getting so much press in NYC and in Europe at that time my own daily newspaper the LA Times couldn't ignore me anymore and started to print my full name of Vaginal Davis. So I am use to the follow the leader mentality.
After last years success with my the CHEAP kollektiv version of The Magic Flute I was barraged with invites to perform and also calls from tired Hollywood TV and movie people. I had never heard of Creative Time before, so when their creative director Nato Thompson contacted me I asked my former student Jonathan Berger who is a child of New York high art about Creative Time and he gave me the A-OK. I've always been suspicious of institutions and those who work for them. People from good families always wind up in these gatekeeper positions. None of us pure folk ever get to sit at these tables.
Which reminds me when I went to the poovah prep school Choate on scholarship, it was my first encounter with the immaculate children of WASP wealth. Getting to know the kids from the great families of the East I was surprised at how forlorn and unloved they were. Talk about family damage. It softened my disdain somewhat of the rich as I realized being a welfare child, I was much better off then most of them were. No one expected anything from me, so being an overachiever in the gifted program in the LA Unified School District led to my going to a fancy prep school with elites and also being the first one in my family at University. Even though I am still poor, and still live hand-to-mouth, at least I don't have to work a day job as a wage slave, and I get invited to art festivals all over the world where I am fussed over and pampered. This ghetto child has certainly come a long way.
Arriving at Dulles Airport on an unseasonably warm Autumn afternoon the lovely Creative Time intern Thandowethu Miambo, a recent Barnard graduate from Africa was there to whisk this little lady D to her spacious suite at the Hilton Homewood in the city center just blocks away from the White House. For a mansion the White House is surprisingly tiny.
Pretty and stylish Thando took me to the opening nite celebration and kick off party at Blind Whino which reminded me of the Womens Building in the Mission District of San Francisco where I performed in the 90s at the Dirty Bird Festival.
After getting off of a long planeride I am always starving, and gorgeous summit coordinator Teal Baskerville treated me to a sumpteous meal courtesy of a Food Truck parked outside the soiree grounds.
Grub down my gullet, white wine and a cornucopia of man candy of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities put a Jack Pumpkinhead grin on my giantessa face.
The olde hairy eyeball was popping in the car ride to the party getting to sit next to hot and lovesexy Henry Arteaga of the JKE Crew Peligrosos of Medellin,Columbia and his very beautiful, sweet translator Vanessa Cuervo. I sure would love to haunt Henry's HipHop School. Shaking his muscular hand reminded me of my That Fertile Feelings co-star Johnny Dark another Columbian tiny in stature but muscular with a huge penis filled with delicious leche fresca.
Entertainment at the party was provided by Michelle Blackwell and the GoGo Allstars. Was sweet to see all the children including the juicy Creative Time interns Karin Shankar, Jonathan Gardenshire and Alice Ecceles enjoying themselves on the dancefloor.
Didn't want to be a party pooper scooper but I needed to get back to my hotel room and wait for Hector Martinez the Swedish Mexican Insurance executive to arrive. So sweet of Hector to take time from his busy schedulina to come and help me at the summit. I also needed to try and get some sleep so that I'd be somewhat fresh for the first day of festivities.
Woke up at 4am mega jet lagged. Little later went down to the complimentary breakfast with Hector. The food was actually pretty good as most American places have crappy free breakfasts unlike the excellent ones that are standard in Europa. The only bad thing was the coffee that tasted like a brown melted crayon in hot water. So wonderous catching up on all the Silverlake 40 gossip with Hector. It felt good having Hector here as my backup singer and personal Ninja bodyguard. Hector was in the Marinecore during his youth so he can kill with his bare hands. Lovely English Rose Lady Alice came to fetch this Dollybird at 7:45am. Lady Alice is a recent Yale grad, very stylish and Sloan Rangery. My performance wouldn't be till Saturday but I came to the theatre a day early so that I could do a soundcheck at the Lincoln Theatre where the summit would take place. The Lincoln is a historic TOBA(Tough on Black Asses) vaudeville circuit theatre built in 1922 in the olde Negro Quartier which is now a gentrified area of the city. Everything was crazed for the first day so I didn't get a chance to sound check or do a run through. Met Nato Thompson who is a cute, dimunitive man with a Sponge Bob Square Pants accent that I found very sweet and charming. He comes from activist circles I gather, and seems quite sincere and excitable. On stage he mentioned he was married with a child, but I think he has a little sugar in his tank. I also met Katie Hollander the patrician Executive Director of Creative Time and Sally Szwed the no nonsense summit director. The stage set was created by the Floating Lab Collective, and I was delighted that it would match my Rick Owens couture Etruscan gown and shoes.
Section One of the first day was under the theme of Occupy Power.
The first keynote speaker was supposed to be Haneen Zoabi the Palestinian politician who made history in 2009 when she became the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel's parliament the Knesset. Ms. Zoabi couldn't make it so she sent an enchanting young Palestinian woman Layla Ashayear to read a statement for her. It was a nice way to begin the summit and change the status quo narrative.
Jonas Staal was supposed to give a talk and a workshop at the summit, but was denied a visa to the USA because of his work with Syrian Kurds. Peter Svarzbein, the attractive pepperpot Jewish/ Latino artist, curator and media disrupter was the standout in the Occupy Power section with his presentation on the El Paso Transnational Trolley Project. Mr. Svarzbein warmed my heart because he put his penis were his mouth is and ran for city counsel and won, receiving a 97 million state grant for an intra city trolley route using the original street cars than ran between El Paso and Juarez.
The British art collective Liberate Tate presented how they managed to divest the museum from receiving corporate funding through the evil British Pertroleum Corporation.
Journal Rappe two Senegal rappers who created a news program done entirely in rap verse. After watching the dullard news programs on American TV in my hotel room, switching to a rap format would be a welcome relief.
There was also a report from Syria by Radio Souriali, but the jet lag started rearing its fugly head and my notes came out a jumbled mess. I picked up some examples of digestable satire from The Great Tortilla Conspiracy to bring home as presents. My Rick Owens gown needed some repairing that Hector helped take care of for me thank god, and he treated me to a wonderful luncheon at Mulebone a healthy soul food boite that reminded me of a more upscale version of LA's Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. Loved the décor of murals depicting Black Renaissance writer Zora Neal Hurston whose image I used on the text of my presentation. Hector and I went back to the hotel to take a disco nap for the remaining part of the summit but because of our jet lag we didn't wake up till everything was over which was just as well as I needed to concentrate on being ready for my performance which was bright and early the next day as part of the Queer and Now Section.
I still didn't get a proper soundcheck, and was thrown off a bit when the tech people bungled my soundscape but it didn't matter so much as my visual details were strong and I looked good on stage. I felt a little unsure about being my sections fascilitator but it actually turned out really well as the questions I asked were more playful in nature as I didn't feel like making direct comments on their presentation as that would be too reductive. I had never heard of artist Andrea Bowers who has lived in Los Angeles since 1990 originally from Ohio. She is quite beautiful and we are of the same generation so we got along like old girlfriends. Ryan Hammond is a youthful artist whose work explores the interplay between culture and biology and is very personable. Sheldon Scott is an engaging local Washingtonian who reminded me of a young Brian Freeman of Afro Pomo Homo.
Patricia Ariza the co-founder and director of Teatro La Candelaria and of Corporacion Columbiana de Teatro is the pure embodiment of the Cholita song Essays de la Mujer. She gave a rousing manifesto presentation that had the audience in complete solidarity with her.
I was so happy to be finished so that I could see the rest of the program. Undressing made me miss the Report From Ukraine by Anna Hutsol (Femen). But I did catch the hilarious Janani Balasubramanian who is a cute energetic socio pathic scientist dealing in quantum physics under the helm of The Case of Nonsens
The summit was celebrating the 100 year anniversary of DaDa and so the Austrian kollektiv Gelitin were just beyond perfect singing nonsense Gregorian chants wearing stunning Leigh Boweryesque costumes with a film of the kollektiv members plowing their own ceramic sculptures with their big dicque thickeruses. The audience didn't exactly know how to process Gelitin, I think that some were disturbed by it but in a good way and those who got it really got it! It was nice having some people from my own weird scene representing in DC. This was only my second time in the state capital, and I love the city and its very attractive denizens.
It was great meeting in person Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung who is simply gorgeous. He could be a movie star with his handsome face and muscular, fit body. I would love to give him a tongue bath. Kenneth has even collaborated with CHEAP Kollektiv on some early CHEAP projects like Global Capitalism at the opening of HAU as a new theatre institution. Kenneth came to the attention of CHEAP through the Blue Bros Tim & kJohnny. When kJohnny lived in New York he worked quite often with the amazing Mr. Hung who I am sure is the living embodiment of his name. His presentation at the summit called Shit Wars was pure ribald genius.
The highlight of Day Two for me had to be Melissa Mays Report From Flint Michigan(Water You Fighting For). Melissa reminded me of my mother who in the late 60s when we lived in South Central LA started the first urban gardens by taking over all these vacant lots and planting fruit and vegetables to feed the poor people in our neighborhood. Direct action with no frills thats what I find the most engaging way of being an activist.
I also loved Thomas Frank and the legendary Carrie Mae Weems who were playfully combative during the Troubled Democracy section. Ms. Weems wasn't featuring the tech peoples gaffes.
Hector and I went to the Corcoran Gallery for the closing night party and had a really nice time chittle chatting, but since I remained jet lagged during the entire time I was in DC I was glad to get back to the hotel room and the comfort of my large bed.
The Creative Time Summit is a lovely art and political congress. A lot of work went into producing it and the results were splendid. In the future I think they should let some presentations be a little bit longer like an hour for keynote and 20 minutes for the mini talks. And time for proper sound checks and or rehearsals need to be allocated. It would be difficult under the current structure, but I think they should strive to find a way to make that happen. Well thats my 22cents.