Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hostess Updates

More snow and still we trudge on. Last Tuesday, my friend Christopher, aka Lonely Christopher whose collection of short stories, "The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse" has just been published on Dennis Cooper's imprint on Akashic books, had a reading at St. Mark's books with none other than Genesis P Orridge. Despite feeling well under the weather, I attended on a "warmish" day with my artist friend, Jake Davidson. Chris came in late and confusedly b-lined to my familiar face. "I don't know where to go?" "Don't worry," I hugged, "Just walk back there and tell them you're Lonely!" Christopher gave a heady reading, not from his book but from a play accounted by pre-Stonewall homos. Very semiotic based stuff. Then Genesis gave a "reading" from her "The Psychic Bible," which basically meant we were serenaded by Genesis' off-the-cuff accounts of communal living, creative insights and incitations. As is usual, she was fabulous and inspiring. I still want to join a commune! Though, I kind of did before Gen, ever since I saw that final scene of Rosa Von Praunheim's Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt (that's It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives to all of us non-German sprechters). So, cute agit gay-boy communes, my email is I'm so there.

Then the snow turned to rain and Wednesday rolled around. That's right, it was the inaugural screening the monthly experimental series I am organizing, Dirty Looks! Given the weather and a swarm of last minute text message regrets, I was certain that the outcome looked bleak, but out folks came and in droves. Leading the discussion after the Films of Curtis Harrington, Bruce Benderson showed up, and many friends did pop in: playwright Brian Bauman and his beau, Christo Allegra, curators Joseph Whitt, Adam Baran and Herbert Mendoza, artist Mark Golamco, Robin Newman and his writer BF Max Steele came with Daniel Sander, journalist Suleman Anaya and the fabulous Julie VS. As a curator it's particularly rewarding to see an array of strangers in the audience - that the program you've assembled brings people out of the woodwork. And out they came. We ran out of chairs at Participant Inc. so director Lia Gangitano, Earl Dax and I had to stand for the program! Apologies to those in attendance for the frosty interior. A common complaint from the crowd of the otherwise fabulous Participant (as Lia too well knows) was its lack of heating. A real downer in January. But the films screened and everyone seemed very keen. Even the exhibition, a video installation by artist Glen Fogel, went with the Dynasty screening to the t. All in all, a great evening.

On Thursday, I had to return the films to Filmmaker's Co-op where I found MM Serra and her staff outfitting Video Barbie with a transexual beard which they'll premier at the Underground Superstars' closing party at the Gene Frankel theater tonight. "She needs a dick!" MM started. I named her Video Barney in lieu of her Video Bert. They agreed. Somewhere in there, I found the time to turn in my recommendation text about Johnny Guitar for the upcoming issue of Little Joe, out April 5th. Later, D and I skedaddled over to BAM for the premier of the new Gregg Araki film - as you no doubt have seen from the prior post. Kaboom was great. Gregg was in attendance - actually he held up the screening since he was coming straight form JFK! Robin and Max were there so D and I saddled up next to them and ate some free popcorn ("Courtesy of Chase" - well, I'm already a fan of Chase, thanks, for recently depositing $125 into my new checking account!). We ran into Marc Arthur who was bummed to have missed Dirty Looks. But then we had to run over to Louis V E.S.P., to meet up with my performance partner Hayley Blatte, where we did a screen test for Friday night's taping of the pilot episode of E.S.P. TV. I created a character based around a joke - see, they needed a host for this public access video show they were doing and that D was participating in and I quipped off-handedly, "Well, I'd do it, but only if I can be cable access sex-Queen, Robin Byrd!" To which the ever-savvy director, Scott Kiernan, said "Done!" So I invented this character - Mary Boom! - a mix of Robin, Mary Boone (obv) with a little bit of Ann Liv Young's Sherry thrown in there for snarky criticality.

Apparently I was so good at that some asshole at the taping "complimented":
"You're so good, you're out of your element but it seems like you mastered it!"
"Excuse me?"
"Well you know, it really seems like you get the art world," he talked down to Mary - like every fag in a wig is some total twit. Attending to these (primarily hetero) experimental performance pieces, this fucker couldn't get that Mary could be a critical performance, too, a sex-worker allegory for the art world. Sternface thought that I was some tranny wreck hired for hilarity.
"Listen fucker," I told him from the bathroom line, "I am a curator!" He stammered.

Of course, Mary Boom! did not ebb art world sophistication - but that was entirely the point. The whole taping was a hot mess in the fabulous way that early public access broadcasts typically are (minor tech foibles, aside). Mary was the medium specific glue that bricolaged the diverse performances and/or videos by KUNSOLE, Elbis Rever, Dana Bell, Victoria Keddie, Sam Mickens, Colby Bird, Kate Gilmore, Jennifer Sullivan and Andrew Steinmetz, Katrina Lamb, Erica Magrey, Sophia Peer, Brian Zegeer, Derek Larson, Ganjatronics, Jonathan Phelps, Andre Prkowski and Rachel Mason. Like this VIP art fair, which seems to be suffering even more technical glitches than our humble outfit, Mary opened her stable to give the Manhattan Neighborhood (!) Network a taste of what was hot, and with her resident artist, Coco (Hayley) we interviewed my roster in much the same way Byrd would, flirting with the Ganjatronics boys and dishing about enemas with Elbis Rever. Of course, the whole thing dissolved into one big dance party at the end, with even the live studio audience joining us on "stage" for Mary's theme song: "Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)" by Paul Lekakis.

In the dressing room


Dana Bell and Kitten Miller



After that busy week, tonight - my ass is staying in. I gotta get some rest, but believe you me, I'll be seeing you tomorrow at the Chris Kraus' book launch at the Swiss Institute. I'm a total slut for all things Chris Kraus and she's ever so nice to reference my book Fever Pitch in artschool grad crits and Australian catalogue essays. Why don't you just go buy her new book, "Where Art Belongs" now!

(Photo from an LA Lit Reading)


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