Beuys, Queer, Circus

The following text was written as part of expanded promotional materials or background stories for my solo performance

Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world...)

.

Because

Crotch

will soon be presented at Bluecoat Performance Space in Liverpool (Nov 12, 2010) and Shotgun's Ashby Stage in Berkeley (Nov 21, 2010), I'm posting these stories here.

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The Mission School (of Painting)

I was asked to respond to the question, "Was there ever a Mission School?" for an upcoming catalogue accompanying Barry McGee's retrospective at Brooklyn Art Museum. When I told a few friends about my attempt to document some other Mission 'schools' it seemed that most of them were not aware of any aesthetic or market phenomenon called The Mission School, which was first named by art writer Glen Helfand to identify a certain 'neo-folk' 'urban rustic' hybrid under the influence of graffiti, comics, mural traditions, skate and zine cultures, recycled wood, sign painting, and SFAI art school painting concerns, that emerged in the mid-90s as a kind of Bay Area style, centered in the Mission neighborhood...

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Bay Area Dance - 2008 - The West Wave Dance Festival

Equality. Free Speech. Democracy’s Body. The Bay Area. The West Wave Dance Festival. In the future everyone will have 15 minutes of fame. In the West Wave Dance Festival each choreographer had five minutes on the big stage at Yerba Buena. Three programs. Thirty-five companies. An equitable and representational form of democracy that celebrates a utopian correction to the cultural segregation of most of our daily lives. This kind of democracy is also championed by the Izzies (the Bay Area’s Isadora Duncan Dance Awards) and might even be considered a San Francisco or Bay Area ‘Value.’...

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The Swedish Dance History (and my contribution to it)

I contributed a few texts and images to The Swedish Dance History book, edited and published at Impulstanz in Vienna, August 2010. Because I haven’t seen the book yet, and because there is no index for the 1000+ pages and uncounted contributions, I’m not sure which writings or photos were chosen for publication.

Here is an excerpt from Rani Nair’s description of the book/process...

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Jess Curtis / Gravity • Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies

The stage is filled with the remnants of past performances, stuff that seems to have lost either its meaning or function. Objects from theater prop rooms: mannequin parts, black cubes, an old fridge, a child’s desk, a vintage gurney, a bike, a mirror, and even the kitchen sink, ba da ba. This is the trash of representation, stuff that looks like or evokes or locates… The appearance of the sink suggests a hint of vaudeville, that US American entertainment fusion of dance, comedy, circus, sideshow, and cultural performance...

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Kirk Read performance at Too Much! (Jan 2010)

Chicken Shit (meditation is supposed to make you less crazy)
Performance by Kirk Read

Kirk Read walked on stage carrying two milk crates. He was wearing a short white shirt-dress or choir robe that read ceremonial. The robe was closed at the throat but open to the torso, revealing gold lame bikini pants. A voice over of Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield’s trance inducing monotone introduced us to some kind of meditation practice. A wall-sized video projection of someone, someone white, touched and then later licked a small brown-skinned doll. The effect of the close-up fondling was creepy but almost camp, especially in contrast with what we hear...

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