It’s a constant droning, heavy and reverberant. Thick and all-consuming, it can be felt in your bones; your skin feels like it’s vibrating. Guilt, and the existential dread that can accompany it, can be agonizing, even when one isn’t conscious of what one is feeling, and Sabine Meier’s “Portrait of a Man” exhibition captures these emotions beautifully in a series of photos — as well as the descent into madness that precipitated the preceding events…
Organized by Dyani Douze and Ali Rosa-Salas, “MAMI,” an exhibition of work by five artists and one collective–all woman-identified artists of color–was an “offering” to the water deities known as Mami Wata. Often depicted as half-female, half-fish, Mami Wata were central to the precolonial matriarchal systems of West and Central Africa…
by Maya Harakawa
November 11 – 13: Transference at the Knockdown Center. A three night mix of electronic music and the visual arts, folded inside the larger scale Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (Nov. 4 – 13). These days the term “electronic music” usually means electronic dance music, but these three days, curated by Sam Hillmer, stretch back to the origins of the genre and point towards its future, with sets from Ben Vida and Tristan Perich. Plus there’ll be plenty to dance to.
The 10 events and two and a half month long series, from October 31, 2016 through January 15, 2017, complements the exhibition “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The works in the program feature the study of complete darkness experienced through the retinas and our body. It also explores the materiality and ephemerality of the filmic image and the cinematic apparatus.
Within the world of drag, there’s a sharp divide between the mainstream and alternative drag (otherwise known as alt drag). Performers in the former category tend to embrace womanly (or “fishy”) looks, haute couture, and Broadway-inspired dance numbers; within the latter, you’ll find more androgynous (or “genderfuck”) styling, DIY outfits, and productions that draw from performance art. And drag’s present moment, which is so defined by the success of RuPaul—who just won a Reality TV Host Emmy this Sunday night—has created, in the minds of many, a stark division between the mainstream drag we see on TV and the alt drag of edgy clubs and underground queer nightlife.
Last weekend’s Bushwig drag festival in New York City—a two-day celebration of LGBTQ art, culture, and, most importantly, alt drag—attempted to prove the fluidity of those divisions, and that they don’t (or shouldn’t) prevent queens from coming together, especially now that drag is bigger and more visible than ever before.
This weekend was an epic drag. Cherry-topped by a long-overdue Emmy win for famed drag queen RuPaul Charles, the real fun kicked off during a weekendlong festival of drag, queer performance and music known as Bushwig.
“We’ve really envisioned MAMI as a hub of activity, and want to make the most of this home base while we have access to it. The artworks serve as the anchors of this home which keep us grounded as we crack up, debate, hug, drink, and dance together. We aim to do this work with love and empathy, and by dispersing authorship through chain curatorial strategies. How can we help spread resources as far and wide as possible? How can we hold each other closer while also letting go?”
In their newest exhibition, So Much Dirt But Not Enough Soil, NYC-based artists Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish challenge the superficial and highlight inherent conflicts in global systems and societies through a material mash up of ingredients like THC oil, human hair, Subway sandwich wrappers, and body odor. At the Knockdown Center in Queens, the art is dwarfed by the surrounding ruins of an old marble and door factory. Soap reliefs created with consumer materials such as hair extensions, cigarette ash, Forever 21 jeans, and Smirnoff Ice hang side-by-side on an old brick wall exposed to the elements, allowing for the possibility of rain to lather them and juxtaposing the idea of sterilization with that of chaotic, dirty consumption.