On a recent night at The Lodge Gallery, Ayakamay stood inside a spherical sculpture of white drapes, extending a manicured nail, beckoning her audience one by one to join her in the cramped space. Once she lured them in, there was a flash, and a small instant film photo fell to the floor. In one instance, she kneeled in front of a visitor within the enclosure. Sometimes you could see other kinds of flashes in between the drapes— suddenly bare breasts or the pleats of a short schoolgirl skirt. Other than that, you couldn’t see much else. It was up to your imagination. Keep Reading »
Make America Gay Again
Wednesday, January 18 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15
By now, the phrase Make America Great Again pretty much seems like old hat. Which is also a pun I didn’t mean to make, but there it is. Tonight, performance artist Chris Tyler hopes to put his own ribald spin on MAGA with this spangled variety show, claiming while that America has never been particularly great or even particularly good, it has indeed been “more than a little bit gay.” Republicans are welcome to this affair, though it’s unclear what their fate shall be when they arrive. The lineup includes “drag queens, poets, and punk musicians” such as performance artist Emily Oliveira, drag queen Kelsey, local rockers Gandor Chorale, Pussy Grabs Back: The Band, writer Jess Goldschmidt, and more. Advance tickets are sold out, but a waitlist begins at the theater at 7:30. Keep Reading »
The results of the election have churned up a tsunami of cultural backlash aimed at the incoming Trump administration’s rhetoric of hatred and intolerance (or, in at least one case, in support of it). There’s a lot of doom and gloom right now– hate crimes are on the rise as our new political era continues to take shape with increasingly horrifying cabinet appointments, from a conspiracy theory-touting Islamophobe as Secretary of Defense to a Department of Energy head who once called for the agency’s abolishment– even so, artists and cultural figures have banded together to express their dismay.
Some, like the Instagram campaign and public protest #DearIvanka, have infused political action with artsy weirdness, while others have just continued making the art they always have, the only difference being that the injustices they’re concerned with– the patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia– have seen something of a comeback as some Americans are once again proud to wear their prejudices on their sleeves (or Twitter feeds).
Wednesday, December 14 at The Rosemont, 9 pm: FREE
This event is for the later crowd, especially if you like to experience a show and a party all at the same time, in the same place. Queers, colorful folk, and nightlife crawlers alike will gather in jazzy Bushwick cocktail bar The Rosemont (opened by Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce) for a night of lip-sync and general debauchery. The lineup, hosted by Andrew Ayres, includes ultra-flexible burlesque babe Apathy Angel, “vegan goddess” Slater G. String, photographer and performer Gypsy Hill, and “part dandy part showgirl” Nellee Dii. Rounding out the evening is Neon Music, spinning tunes all night. Performances begin at 11 pm, which is late enough to feel mysterious and nightlife-y but early enough for people to actually be conscious for them. Grab one of the Rosemont’s bespoke cocktails (or a beer and a shot) and prepare for a “Sexxxplosion.”
Wednesday, December 7 at Vox Bizarre, 8 pm: FREE
Vox Bizarre is a new Ridgewood-based “store and workshop” pop-up devised by four design labels: Casey Caldwell, TILLYandWILLIAM, Claire Fleury, and LACTIC. Aside from all creating unconventional and intriguing attire and accessories, the common thread that unites these labels is that they are interested in shedding binary gender classifications within fashion and developing pieces that are inclusive to all body types. In addition to selling their wares, they’ve planned a variety of community-based events, such as performances, workshops, photoshoots, and more.
Tonight, a chasm of art opens up in East Williamsburg. More specifically, tonight marks the beginning of CHASM, a four-day late-night multimedia/nightlife/performance/music event, showcasing some of the most groundbreaking artists working in the Brooklyn scene today. The experience is curated by Julia Sinelnikova, a multimedia artist who often creates under the name The Oracle and is drawn to the usage and interactions of light in her work, whether it be through curation or creation. Keep Reading »
If you’ve been to Wild Torus events before, it’s likely you know all about their marathon performance-art benders and messy parties. Guests are necessarily a part of the events involving immense creation and destruction within the same night (or 48-hour marathon). My first Torus encounter was a mind-jostling, brain-crushing, chaotic mess. It was a crush of humanity, all soaked in sweat, and stuck with gloopy, sticky materials, under an onslaught of hypnotic drumming, loud-as-hell discordant synth drone, and anything and everything you can imagine.
Harvest Moon: A Freak-Folk Cabaret
Thursday, September 22 at The Wild Project, 8 pm: $10-20 sliding scale.
Come ring in the soon-arriving autumn with this mystical evening of live art, from music and dance to film and fairytales and everything in between. A gaggle of artists based in Bushwick and beyond (some are regulars at Bizarre Bar staple Circus of Dreams, others frequent the nearby Tarot Society or Living Gallery) will assemble to bring you their artistic bounty. And it’ll be a bounty, all right– there are over 15 acts on the bill, including Jason Trachtenburg, Tarot Society’s Darcey Leonard, Omer Gal‘s music ensemble Cookie Tongue, and a Texas-themed Butoh troupe. If you’re pressed for time, you can just pop in for the second act at 9:30pm (there are two entry times) but all tickets earn you access to the whole shindig. The weather may get to the high eighties today, but fall is a-comin’. Eventually.
XXX: Kim Fatale Turns 30
Thursday, September 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 8 pm doors, 9 pm show: $5 suggested.
Dominatrix and performance artist Kim Fatale will be ringing in her third decade and entrance into the “age of desire,” and not just through any old birthday party. This will be a true show, with appearances from some of the city’s weirdest and wildest creators and performance artists, including Wild Torus (who I once saw perform running naked covered in goo), Jenna Kline (who I once saw with slabs of meat attached to her face, respectively), and Geraldo Mercado. Expect tunes from ski-bass-wielding burst of energy Borts Minorts, the “alluring and feminine” Huisi He, and the birthday star herself, in a performance made in collaboration with sound group SPREADERS. Roll on over to Bizarre and submit yourself to art.
Brooklyn performance art duo Wild Torus are known for their wild, orgiastic, and messy shows, which often get the audience involved. They’ve always been a bit extreme, but found themselves in a situation that shocked even them when, in April, a performance art festival they did with Estonian performance collective Non Grata at East Williamsburg space The Paper Box was shut down mid-show without warning.
Mike Berlant (aka Vlady VØz Tokk, one half of Wild Torus along with Amy Mathis / Mág Ne Tá) recounted their experience on Facebook, in a post that was shared over 50 times and led to many in the surrounding arts community leaving bad reviews of the venue (including bad experiences some organizers had with other shows done there) and calling for it to be blacklisted. A month later, Wild Torus found themselves being sued by Paper Box for defamation and for “trashing” the space. They say they weren’t informed of the suit until the New York Post called them for comment for a piece they wrote about it.
Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10.
The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.