Queer-themed art shows are having a moment right now, and we can only expect that trend to continue as we enter a time of uncertainty about the future of LGBTQ rights in this country (and those of all marginalized people, really). An ongoing exhibition called Like Smoke (on view through December 4 at the New York Artists Equity Association on the Lower East Side) feels so right-now in that way. The show mines gay history and examines the ways in which oppression, both past and persistent, still creep into the present. Though it examines the queer body, you won’t see any actual bodies on display. Instead there’s a great gaping black hole, phantoms from the past, and a lingering sense of absence.
The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”
By the looks of things, October’s becoming something of a de facto Queer Film Month in New York City. Which is way cool, we’re always happy to see queer goings-on about town beyond Pride Month. And whether you’re a connoisseur of all things old and aging well, or live solely to soak up ever-refreshing nowness, we’ve got a couple of events that offer a slew of opportunities to attend LGBT movie happenings.
A “queer feminist cyborg epic time travel thing” has taken residency at the Loft on Classon for a three-week festival that presents the culmination of the ETLE Universe, a maximalist work of science fiction instigated by Sarah A.O. Rosner in 2012. Bedford + Bowery covered the ETLE Universe this past spring, which saw the unveiling of a graphic novel, 3D-printed rings, and a photography exhibition. Now the collective is showing its final works, including an evening-length performance, a feature-length pornography, a performance of the Universe’s concept album, parties, and lectures (a full listing of showings is available here).
Freak Out! Fest, a queer and trans punk music festival, is making its debut in Bushwick and the Lower East Side this weekend with over 20 bands playing shows at Silent Barn, ABC No Rio, and Cake Shop. The fest starts tonight at Silent Barn and continues with afternoon and nighttime shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Even the most jaded of after-hours ravers probably haven’t seen this pricing scheme before: for women, entry to Dagger is $5 at the door before midnight and $10 after; meanwhile it’s $15 all night for “homo cys dudes” and $50 all night for “str8 cys dudes.” Those covers are actually enforced, and yet the people at the monthly party’s latest installment were still easily a third male-presenting.
A “roaming screening series” has set up shop in venues across New York City and unofficially dubbed July queer cinema month. Maybe you’ve seen the posters around town for Dirty Looks: On Location, which the organizers are calling “a series of queer interventions” in the form of performance art, but mostly cinema inside LGBT cultural landmarks, art institutions, DIY spaces, and even in places where the ghosts of queer past linger, like defunct bathhouses and former meeting spots. Screenings are showcasing not just classics of gay cinema but recent efforts by local up-and-comings.
Feel the need to commiserate about good times spent at neighborhood haunts of yore? Share poems, stories, monologues and memories about a New York City place you loved and lost at “A Ghost City Tour,” featuring Kathryn “K” Adisman, Alice Klugherz, Ron Kolm, Su Polo, Armand Ruhlman, Fred Simpson on drums and special guest Jill Rapaport. Reminisce over pizza and get a free beer at this 5th Street bar that’s happily survived to serve up some of the best Italian food in the East Village since 1991. March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Three of Cups Lounge, 83 First Avenue on the corner of East 5 Street.
Some of the city’s most colorful characters flocked to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center last night to celebrate the completion of a $9.2 million renovation project. A sparkling rainbow ribbon was cut by Edie Windsor, who famously caused the Supreme Court to change its exclusively heterosexual interpretation of marriage through a civil rights case that is now a historical milestone for the LGBT community. Cheers resounded as it fell to the floor.
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