So if you're confused about anything I say in this post, background is in my last one. And due to the events of last night, MIX is going to require a full three journal entries to tell the tale.
Today, we talk about Art That I Saw: Screenings and Performances
1. Friday, 6 pm: De Profundis
Here's what the program says about it: "MIXNYC first screened De Profundis in 1997, where we called attention to its investigation of language, sexuality, and Oscar Wilde's fabulously transgressive aesthetics. We are just as excited now as we were then by the striking beauty of this work... a three part, hand/alternative-processed experimental film... sets up a haunting investigation of queerness, masculinity, history, and sexuality... if film no longer existed, De Profundis gives the impression that Lawrence Brose is certainly capable of reinventing it...it holds up a mirror to gay sexuality and plumbs the tensions reflected there."
Here's what I saw when I watched it: a ton of incomprehensible, colorful, flashy visuals. Bits and pieces of vintage homoeroticness, dancing, and drag. A ton of incomprehensible, twitchy, bewildering vocals over a piano track, all comprised of lines from Oscar Wilde's "De Profundis."
I didn't get it at all. Later I learned that Lawrence Brose, like Oscar Wilde, is looking at a pretty long prison sentence. The one account I heard friday night was that it's for possession of child pornography. De Profundis is included in the evidence, much like Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Fitting.
2. How the West Was Won
I only caught the tail end of this film, but basically some guy collected a shit ton of this one pornographer's work from the 50's and 60's and compiled it and so yeah it was just gay beefcake porn. It was fascinating, though, seeing these very vintage guys going at it. The sorts of storylines. It was all so goofy. History, yey.
3. Friday, 9:15 pm: "Yes You Are Okay"
The program says, "with appropriated video footage projected onto their naked bodies, they stand bare to the audience, asking for forgiveness, freeing themselves from the guilt of their past mistakes, from long held secrets. They are the viewers to consider their own, and to use art to practice the honesty, forgiveness, and radical acceptance we could not experience in out day-to-day lives."
What I saw: A naked woman and a naked (trans) man, standing on a stage. Projected onto the man's chest was footage of police raids, violence, arrests. Projected onto the woman's belly was a gray fetus that grew bigger and bigger. They stood silently while voices played from speakers. The first told a story of losing somebody as a teenager and faking a pregnancy. The second... let me see if I can remember it... went something like "I called my friend a nigger. On the playground at school. I whispered it in his ear... (and then it talks about how much it hurt him) I don't know why I did it. I grew up in LA during (i forget the name of the race riots). I learned about white power.... a friend of mine told me the story of a time she was at a meditation circle and a butterfly flew in and out of the circle. She wondered what would've happened if she'd reached up and killed that butterfly. That's why I called my friend a nigger. That temptation to think of the worst thing you could do in a situation and then do it. Just to see what would happen."
It really spoke to me, as a piece. That second monologue, seeing the stillness in their naked bodies, and, I'll admit it, seeing a trans body, naked, in real life. It was validating. It made none of my feelings feel lonely.
4. Friday 10 pm: Flaming Ears
I don't care about this one enough to copy the program blurb down, but basically it was Austrian dyke porn sci-fi from the 1990s... there's explosions and lizards/snails/alligators being eaten and hands getting blown off and it was a party and a half.
After all of the showings (I only saw about half of the stuff) there was a party downstairs in the pink vagina cave and I got a little drunk and a lot tired and then me and Elliot walked home.
5. Saturday, 6 pm: Noise: Trans-Subversions in Global Media Networks.
Program says: "From different regions and Diasporas, NOISE brings together trangender/queer media insurrections in the globally networked information economy. These shorts focus on the gender and sexual deviants, queer kin, street youth, activists, independent artists, laboroers, migrants, and cultural workers..."
What I Saw: some really fascinating shorts, some really confusing flashy light/sound show shorts, the one really beautiful piece called "Pumzi"... I dunno. It was cool.
6. Saturday 7:15 pm: "Glands 4.0"
Program says: "Glands 4.0 is two costumed humanoids gyrating awkwardly before a video projector in a darkened room...this 12-minute perfumance piece is a campy exploration of bodily "betrayal" ..."
I, personally, was frightened by the humanoids and I smoked a cigarette outside alone for 12 minutes because I needed a break because MIX gives me ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
7. The Insiders was a performance art piece where people got into giant pink spandex balls and ameoba'd around the room. The end.
But I should summarize. the MIX media blew my mind. I loved some of it, I hated some of it. But that stuff in that space, in the wormhole that is that the dimly-lit factory... my consciousness got so altered. It just... I felt all opened up to some new kind of thinking... this different universe. Where the parties are SUPER INSANE queer and the food is really fucking random and there's no such thing as a body norm and people are naked everywhere and booze is free and time runs differently. Where narrative form isn't a requirement.
Oh, and I had sex with Elliot.
But I'll post about that tomorrow.