Celebrating the NYC house ballroom scene — Patricia Field was inducted into The Ballroom Hall of Fame by Jack Mizrahi
An unique interactive pop-up casino experience at W New York
The legendary drag super star Linda Simpson and Peradam Press are hosting the launch of Linda’s new book ‘PAGES,’ it’s filled with personal photos all shot with “basic point-and-shoot cameras” of her “now deceased transgender friend” Page. She was “a captivating and outlandish cult figure in the Nineties NYC gender-bending nightlife scene.”
We got a copy of the book last week and we really enjoyed it, it’s always refreshing to see images of such original creative creatures. Page looked like she was worth a lot of money and worked many different looks flawlessly. This Wednesday, November 13th, at the also legendary gay bar, The Cock, Linda is hosting an homage to Page with a “slideshow and video installation, go-go dancing by the gender-bending troupe Chez Deep and special guests…” Music is by DJ Formika (another legendary queen). Autographed books by Linda will be sold for $20. As if I need to say it again…but it’s going to be LE-GEN-DA-RY.
FREE, 7:00PM-9:00PM, THE COCK, 29 2ND. Ave. NY, NY.
Your comprehensive guide to this year's radical festival
What do blowjobs, the Apocalypse, truck-sex culture of the 1970’s, and surveillance anxieties all have in common? They’re each being put on lavish display at this week’s 26th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival — and that’s only a fraction of the topics being covered. This year’s festivities will be held in a massive Brooklyn warehouse space by MIX NYC, a community of artists and organizers committed to sharing queer experimental media through a wealth of different methods. The festival promises to be as subversive as ever, taking viewers through six days of artistic and intellectual debauchery, taking the form of films, installations, and performances all created by or for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
The kaleidoscopic festivities begin on Tuesday (November 12, opening night), a debut of films that showcase bodily experiences as filtered through a reflection of the toxic world we live in. With film titles ranging from Balls (Nathalie Mihee Lemoine) to Bradley Manning Had Secrets (Adam Butcher), it’s bound to be a political spread of timely films and installations, featuring special guests Bubi Canal, Gerry Visco and Linda Simpson. On Wednesday (November 13), plan to come hungry: it’s time for Smorgasbord, a collection of shorts that tackle everything from mental illness and HIV/AIDS to trans parenting and procreation (sorry I know you were expecting them to be about food), all curated from a diverse group of Canadian filmmakers. Directly following is Afro-Asian Visions, a showcase of queer artists of color aiming to reflect on the past while keeping an eye on the art of the future. Lastly, there’s Last Dance, a concentration on a queered Apocalypse via hypnosis, Madonna, and 16mm educational films, all curated by Dirty Looks NYC.
The festival commences again Thursday night (November 14) with CinemaScopeS, a visceral journey through a series of films that analyze the way we perceive our environment, challenging realities and presenting technological innovations along the way. Later in the night is A Stom Sogo Tribute, a salute to the Japanese moving-image artist renowned for his aggressive experimentalism. The good people at MIX NYC have mined the archives for the tribute, presenting never-before-seen discoveries from Sogo’s massively prolific oeuvre. Next up is Viscera, an examination of flesh and bodies in every sense imaginable, spanning from fluids and artifice to self-care and intimacy. Events get underway again on Friday (November 15) with I Like Quiet, Dark Places, a film series identifying the limits that define our identities and what we can do to subvert them, followed by Big Joy, a documentary on queer poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton. Later in the night is the trippy Gnostic Trance, a psychedelic voyage steeped in fear, lust, and desire that will be required viewing for the stoned set.
Gearing up again for the weekend, Saturday’s (November 16) events kick off with Cage In Search of Bird, an exploration into queer diaspora and the longing for a home within the queer community. Following is White Walls Or Warehouses, a concentration on art’s community and commodity that deconstructs the essential question of what art truly is. Later in the night is one of the fest’s most exciting programs (yes, in a boner-inducing kind of way). It’s Going To Be A Humpy Night is a late-night mash-up of porn and art that is sure to be a treat for all denominations of the queer community, ranging from rubber fetishists to anonymous hook-up enthusiasts. Things start up again on Sunday (November 17), the last official day of the film festival, with programs ranging from Feed Your Head, a transgressive jaunt through psychedelia, and Craftivism, a collection of shorts showcasing unique artists’ physical creations. Don’t forget to include the open-to-the-public gallery spaces filled with installations from a variety of queer artists in your schedule, as well as the nightly performances from drag queens and performance artists alike.
Already picked out the programs you want to see? Then hurry up and grab your tickets here. It’s gonna be a wild, wild ride.
A variety of nightlife personalities break down the art of partying
If there are any two things in this world that fit together flawlessly and are in constant conversation with one another, art and nightlife without a doubt take top honors. Longtime contributors to this collaboration are the FUN Fellowship, a program dedicated to providing artists with the monetary foundation they need to merge fine art and nightlife into fully immersive projects. This weekend, the folks over at FUN are putting together the FUN Conference on Nightlife, a three-day program intended to initiate a dialogue about nightlife as an art form.
Presented alongside the publication of the book THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC, the conference includes panel discussions, lectures, and projects detailing the fabled relationship nightlife has with New York City and the fine arts. Some events to look forward to this Saturday include ‘The Pleasure Ritual,’ concentrating on the blending of the nightlife environment with radical political possibilities and featuring a panel that includes FCKNLZ, Rob Roth, and Spectrum. Later in the day is the aptly-titled ‘You Deserve a Drink Ticket!‘, in which the legendary CHERYL, Earl Dax, and Ladyfag will discuss the art of hosting a killer party while keeping art and aesthetic sensibilities intact. Finally, there’s ‘Whatever Happened to Flyers?…,’ a panel discussion about party promotion in the post-Internet world moderated by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator of MoMA PS1, and including #TOP 8 Friends, Marie Karlberg, Patrik Sandberg, Frankie Sharp, and Stewart Uoo.
On Sunday, Nov.10, the conference kicks off again with ‘States of Excess and Undress…‘, a panel discussion on the stereotypical perception of nightlife as a seedy, sexy cesspool of hedonism and where the division between taboo and acceptable behavior truly lies, with panelists that include Cameron Cooper, JUDY, Leo GuGu, and WOAHMONE. Another must-see Sunday event is ‘Brooklyn and Beyond…,’ an exploration into the “death of nightlife” and the evolution into what nighttime entertainment means in today’s social climate, featuring Paddy Johnson, Art Fag City, Sophia Lamar, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn, and Gerry Visco. Last but certainly not least is ‘No Dancing Allowed…,’ a discourse on government policies regulating nightlife in NYC, as discussed by Hattie Hathaway and Aaron J. Solomon, Attorney, Oved & Oved LLP and Michael Musto.
All in all, it looks to be an incredibly informative weekend for those of us invested in our nightlife (aka all of us). If you’re looking to be mentally stimulated by the intersection where art and parties meet, or are simply looking to join in on the conversation yourself, then this is not an event to be missed.
The sweet and talented artist Ian Sklarsky is known for his “blind contour” drawings which he refers to as “a method of drawing in which the artist draws a line and never looks at the paper. It takes what one sees with one’s eye and with study allows the hand to trace the image from one’s brain.” I’ve witnessed him at work and it’s the coolest thing to see his process, his drawings are very free and as he puts it “filled with mistakes, but 100% truth.” He’s hosting a fun event this Saturday at the sex shop: The Pleasure Chest New York where he will be drawing people. Money raised from the event will help fund his next project “The Line,” a “400 person portrait book.” The drawings at the store are free, so buy a $55 long sleeve thermal shirt to help him out. It’s a great excuse to go to the shop and stock up on some condoms and new sex toys — it’s the winter, you know you’ll be spending more time at home. I’ll let Ian have the final word: “Come grab a drink...think about sex and sit for a portrait...”
Rhizome presented a wild benefit by artist Ed Fornieles at the New Museum
Wow, wow, wow, now this is what I call a proper Halloween party. MoMA PS1 and the magazine that “celebrates transsexuality, cross dressing, drag, androgyny, and everything in between,” Candy bring us a drag ball. Encouraging all guests to dress up in drag for “a glamorous old school ball made contemporary, with live drag and musical performances, DJs, dancing, and a pageant.” The event is hosted by some of our favorite people in NYC: Justin Vivian Bond, Melissa Burns, Cody Critcheloe (SSION), Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Kembra Pfahler, Chloë Sevigny, Casey Spooner, Wu Tsang, and Lypsinka. With the fabulous Ladyfag as the Emcee, a live Performance by La’Fem Ladosha and DJ Sets by JD Samson and Pyramid (Michael Magnan, Will Automagic, and Nita Aviance). Candy magazine has inspired us more than the last six seasons of Rupaul's Drag Race to put on a dress and pull the wig down off the shelf...
Hosted by Chelsea Handler — sponsored by Corzo tequila and Njoy electronic cigarettes at Marquee NYC.
There is A LOT going down at this event — it’s the closing night of the Dirty Looks film festival (a platform for queer experimental film and video) at MoMa PS1 and Bradford Nordeen (the festival’s curator) told me that he’s planning an “insane” night. The artist Luther Price (in his first performance in 8 years) is bringing us “a multi-media ice scream clown dance party” titled ‘How Deep is Your Love?’ From what we’ve heard it sounds pretty strange, but that’s probably a good thing, stuff like this gets us excited. Here’s the deal: “Santa is going to fuck the Easter Bunny and turn him into a giant ice-scream sundae.” The “scream” part is not a typo, this thing is going to be scary. You can also expect a unique live rendition of Elton John’s Rocket Man and a “confectionary climax sure to chill to the bone.” Can’t wait!
Hosted by Ariel Foxman and Brandon Cardet-Hernandez at the Hotel Americano, El Privado Lounge.
With Joey Arias, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Philippe Petit, Jack Ferver, James Whiteside and many more
Abrons Art Center needs you
Put down the knitting, the book and the broom! Not like any of you knit or clean, but read up, because it’s time to get cultured for a cause.
On Monday, October 14, the ravishing Russian Mikhail Baryshnikov will serve as the Honorary Chairman for Uptown Downtown, a special one-night-only extravaganza to benefit the Abrons Arts Center.
The Mistress of Seduction Joey Arias will be there, in addition to Ellen Greene (best known as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors), the lovely Bebe Neuwirth, and the divine dancer Robert La Fosse. Strangers With Candy alumni Jack Ferver will perform with James Whiteside, the ABT ballet dancer who just gave us some sweet, sweet eye candy on the front page of the NYT Arts & Leisure section, as well as the fierce choreographer Kyle Abraham, who was just awarded a $625,000 MacArthur Genius award. And Philippe Petit, the Man on Wire who walked across the Twin Towers, will also make an appearance.
What a spectacular cast of characters. Ticketing Levels are as follows: $1,000; $500; $250; $100. But guess what? GAYLETTER readers can use the discount code GAYLETTER for $50 tickets to the cocktail party and benefit performance (limit 2 per person).
So don’t miss out, darlings.
Taylor Mead (pictured right) is dead. He was a living legend. One of the first underground gay film superstars that Warhol “practically built all of the factory films around.” Taylor was a man who LOVED his drugs. He died in May, in Denver, at the age of 88 after moving from his Ludlow street apartment in April, following a dispute with his landlord. He is being remembered this week in a series of loving events. At 7:30pm this Friday at the Film Anthology Archives they’re playing clips from Taylor’s varied film roles, and on Saturday at 2:30pm the St. Marks Church (131 E. 10th St.) is conducting a memorial service after which I am told they will be spreading his ashes at a location to be determined. You can bet a slew of underground personalities will be in attendance such as Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, Paul Morrisey, Ultra Violet and Gerard Melanga. Drop some E, eat a pot cookie, do what you need to get in the mood and come celebrate the passing of a man who Penny Arcade describes as “the downtown hero of the 20th Century.”
Cultural producer Jake Yuzna (who curated the Araki retrospective now on at the Museum of Art and Design) told me earlier today something super exciting. Just wait until I tell you, you are probably going to shit in your pants. Ready? “As part of the cinema retrospective God Help Me: Gregg Araki, Araki himself will be coming to MAD for a rare master class this Saturday.” I mean wow, yes wow. “Araki is one of the most important American directors of the past two decades.” This man is a big deal! As Jake puts it: “Not only a pioneer of new queer cinema, Araki launched the careers of Joseph Gordon Levitt in his portrayal of a young gay hustler and Rose McGowan as 1/3 of a teenage, criminal ménage à trois...” In his films we can encounter lots of “doomsdays,” and familiar faces such as, Parker Posey, Ryan Phillippe,Traci Lords, Rose McGowan, Heather Graham, Mena Suvari, Christina Applegate, John Ritter, and Beverly D’Angelo. Gregg also directed the ultimate stoner movie Smiley Face. Please do yourself a favor and go eat a bag of weed and then smoke a plate of pot cookies and watch it immediately...then attend this class.