A Celebration for François Sagat's Clothing Line at Eastern Bloc
Now playing at The Harvey theater at BAM through Jan 25th
It is on rare occasion that all the elements for true artistic perfection come together at the same time elevating a performance into the ether of the gods. I remember the first time I experienced this moment — it was when Peggy Fleming did her long program in figure skating to win the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics. I was five. The next standout performance in my memory came at age 19 when I saw Dreamgirls on Broadway in it’s original production, spending all my bar mitzvah money to see it another six times more before it closed. Now let me preface what I’m about to say by confessing A: I’m certifiably obsessed with rodeo B: greatly enamored by the works of composer/performer Sufjan Stevens C: Smoked some fine ass weed before the show, so here it is: Round-Up an hour and fifteen minutes of super slowmotion rodeo footage accompanied by a live original score by Sufjan Stevens with Yarn/Wine is by far the most sublime, seamless artistic experience I’ve had in years, going down in my memory as one of those “ether of the Gods” moments.
The subtle score by Stevens is performed live with two percussionists and two pianists beautifully enhancing imagery of bronco and bull riding, calf roping, cheerleading and related rodeo imagery shot by Aaron and Alex Craig so that 1 live second of action takes 12 seconds to transpire on screen. The effect is at once poetic and dazzling. You have to grab tickets fast because Round-Up now playing at BAM in the Harvey Theatre only has performances through Jan 25th. As Sufjan points out “There’s so much dance in rodeo horse tails and stirrups, cowboy hats, tassels and chaps flying all over the place, the film is quite visceral” Not to mention all that male atmosphere and Levis clad crotches EVERYWHERE!
Winter can be SUCH a drag. But just as the post-holiday blues are setting in, RuPaul’s Drag Race is back to lift you right up. That’s right, honey. Season 7 is officially here, and you’re invited to kick it off on January 23, 2015 with the NYC Pep Rally.
RPDR Season 7 is already promising to give us something different. Ru has traded in the glitter and sequins of seasons past for a much more minimal look, with a crop of diverse and quirky queens.
“This year we have some of the youngest and oldest contestants in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory,” RuPaul said in a statement. “Study each queen closely. Do not underestimate anyone. The girls that make it to the top this season will shock you.” Oh yas, mama. C’mon!
Presented by Brandon Voss & KennyKenny, tonight’s event will feature performances by the three New York queens: Mrs. Kasha Davis, Miss Fame, and Pearl. Each lady is giving us upstate, uptown, and downtown, respectively. Lady Bunny and Valissa Yoe will be DJing, and Milk will be the hostess for the evening.
It’s all going down at Fever Fridays at The Attic Rooftop & Lounge in Hell’s Kitchen. Sponsored cocktails will be served from 10:30-11:30PM.
And, if you haven’t already, get to know your NY ladies in Logo’s “Meet the Queens” videos here.
The French, former porn star, actor and director François Sagat is launching his clothing label Kick Sagat this Thursday, January 22 at International Playground at 463 Broome St. from 7:00PM-9:00PM — and yes! Francois will be in attendance. We are so excited to see this man in person, we’ve been counting the hours. Although we might not recognize him with clothes on.
The event will be hosted by Becca McCharen of Chromat and Sonia Agostino. DJ for the night is Christine Tran of Witches. Expect Champagne, hopefully half-naked men and lots of queens running around trying to get a photo next to Sagat’s ass.
Afterwards, for only $5, you can join the after-party celebration at 10:00PM at Eastern Bloc (505 East 5th St.) with music by Casey Spooner and Frankie Sharp. Hosts for the evening include Mickey Boardman, Gio Black Peter and Melissa Burns. This is gonna be one hell of a sexy event!
Gay men have a language all of their own. Or so suggests Hal Fischer in his series Gay Semiotics, on view at Cherry & Martin Gallery in Culver City, California until February 21. Fischer photographed men on the prowl in the Castro and Haight Ashbury districts of San Francisco in 1977 as part of a tongue-in-cheek photo essay, labeling the elements of each man’s outfit as part of elaborate cruising codes. The result is a conceptual look at the “gay uniform.” It explains how totally ordinary items in the straight world like handkerchiefs and keychains, when worn in the street by gay men, tell other men about the wearer’s sexual fetishes.
The “semiotics” in the series title refers to semiotic theory, which claims that images and even objects — like words — carry abstract, symbolic meaning. A close-cropped photograph of two asses clad in tight jeans with handkerchiefs in opposite pockets explains the semiotics of “Gay Hanky Code:” “A blue handkerchief placed in the right hip pocket serves notice that the wearer desires to play the passive role during sexual intercourse,” and so on. Other more traditional portraits are broken into types: the Street Fashion Jock in labeled satin gym shorts and Adidas, the Street Fashion Leather in chaps and leather boots, the Street Fashion Basic Gay in flannel shirt and Levis. By merging gay subcultures with art theory, Fischer pulls conceptual photography out of the museum and into the streets (and the back alleys).
The black and white images of mustachioed leathermen in high-wasted flare jeans feel a little dated, maybe because cruising has gone digital. In today’s gayborhoods, though, uniforms have changed but are still in fashion. Fischer’s exhibition is actually timely: it makes us ask how our rapidly evolving hook-up culture has changed the way we communicate and express ourselves in public spaces.
Tangled in my sheets and lying on your back, I watch you turn to greet the soft light of a sun that has just begun to rise. Your body is still asleep, but your mind is so awake. I keep a box of photos by my bedside, relics of the ancient civilizations of me, Incarnations of self like all of the cities I’ve set fire to — and I show them to you sparingly. Photos of the life I lived before you, back when I had bruised lips and hips and knees that knocked when I walked. Back when everything in my life was a habitual as breathing. And I have never been too easily satiated. Things that take a little with others seem to take a lot with me. I’ve spent the formative years of my youth wondering why nobody told me growing up would be so hard. A master at placing the blame, I’ve been running in circles and howling at a starless sky.
I’m spending the final years of my youth wondering why nobody told me falling in love could be so easy. An amateur at real feelings, I am breaking down my walls and my thick skin, howling at the moon in Texas. I am far from that person now. Rolling over in the morning, twisting in my slutty white sheets, I pull you closer and I am far nearer to the person I could be.
That magic, it’s a head rush. It’s a high that the drugs can’t match. A dream of elsewhere, I can feel it in my bones and my heart. It’s a lot like happiness. It’s a lot like hope. It reminds me of the last glowing ember of yet another city in the dust at the end of summer. Hot winds and habitual hauntings. A sixteen-hour dream state that breeds a new kind of fire. It’s one of those things you can feel but can’t see. Like wind. Like love. Like ghosts.
Scenes from the weekly party presented by Kayvon Zand and Kenny Kenny
I know, that’s a looooong title for a show but I feel compelled to tell you about it before it closes this Saturday, January 17. What I can discern from the exceedingly high brow press release from the Gagosian Gallery is that Takashi Murakami has created these new works in response to his exploration of Japanese art produced in the aftermath of historic natural disasters. There are several vast canvases, quite colorful and seemingly playful yet dark in tone with elements of sci-fi, manga, Buddhist and Shinto imagery.
In addition there is an enormous 56 ton replica of a sanmon (sacred gate) that guards Buddhist temples. Due to the expansive proportions of the gallery, Murakami is able to exhibit works the size of which you rarely see in a setting of this nature. Enough said, if you can make it over to Chelsea by Saturday have a look in on one of the more captivating shows I have seen yet this new year.
Samuel Fosso was born in 1962 in Cameroon. At the age of 13 he opened his own photo studio. During the day he would take portraits for paying clients, at night he would turn the camera on himself shooting some of the best selfies of the last century. “Fosso’s expressive black-and-white self-portraits from the 1970s make reference to popular West African culture — musicians, the latest youth fashions, and political advertising — constituting a sustained and unprecedented photographic project that explores sexuality, gender, and African self-representation.”
Fosso’s photos dressed as Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis, Patrice Lumumba, Halie Salassie and many other African American leaders are beautiful, evocative…they are quite frankly the cutting up. We suggest you take the first opportunity to see Fosso’s work, and don’t be afraid to take a selfie in front of Fosso’s wonderful selfies, we think he’d like that.
Here’s a preview of the work you’ll see at the gallery. All images © Samuel Fosso. Courtesy The Walther Collection and Jean Marc Patras / Galerie.
FREE, 12:00PM-6:00PM, The Walther Collection Project Space, 526 West 26th St. Suite 718. NY, NY.