I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Friday, January 31, 2020
Calendar of events from Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) artists for the month of February.
Current QAM Fellow Olaiya Oyalemi will perform at Dixon Place, Feb. 26th (details of photos by Eric Longenecker)
QUEER|ART EVENTS FEBRUARY, 2020
Bundle up and hit the streets - there's plenty of queer art to experience in February!
This month in New York, catch work by four Current QAM Fellows. Olaiya Olayemi and Sarah Sanders will both perform for Femme Fest at Dixon Place: an in-development showing of Sanders' In My Name will help kick off the first week of the festival on February 17th, 7:30pm; and a work-in-progress showing of Olayemi's ado (a remix of my name): a biomyth performance art piece will round out the series on February 26th, 7:30pm. And Raja Feather Kelly has directed/choreographed Young Jean Lee's We're Gonna Die (previews begin February 4th at Second Stage). Plus, there's still time to see Felicita “Felli“ Maynard's photographic work in the group exhibition The Now at Pen + Brush (through February 11th).
Otherwise, stay warm and catch some quality queer content from the comfort of your home as a new edition of 2011-2012 QAM Mentor Jennie Livingston's documentary, Paris Is Burning, drops on Blu-ray/DVD on February 25th, with over an hour of never-before-seen footage. Multi-year QAM Mentor Thomas Allen Harris' documentary, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, will be available to stream beginning February 17th, as part of the AfroPop series on the WORLD channel. And check out the second season of 2017-2019 QAM Mentor Neil Goldberg's podcast, "She's A Talker," with new episodes available online each Friday.
WEDNESDAY: February 6th, 7:30pm New York Live Arts 219 W 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
We're Gonna Die: February 4th - March 22nd Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater 305 West 43rd St. New York, NY 10036
Current Fellow Raja Feather Kelly and the feath3r theory searches for the true motivations and outcome behind the bank robbery in the 1975 cinematic-drama Dog Day Afternoon. WEDNESDAY dismantles the film by re-centering the story on Liz Eden, for whom the character Leon in the fllm is loosely based, and the reason why the character Sonny conspires to rob a bank: to fund Eden’s sex change [sic]. A conversation with his Current Mentor Kate Bornstein will follow.
We're Gonna Die is a non-musical/non-play/non-concert that is not about dying. It's a celebration of the things we do, say, and sing to keep ourselves going as we hurtle toward the finish line. Through a series of stories and songs both hilarious and heartbreaking, Young Jean Lee’s We're Gonna Die, under 2019-2020 QAM Fellow Raja Feather Kelly's new direction, offers proof positive that being alive is about more than just awaiting the inevitable.
"Vever (for Barbara)," Dir. Deborah Stratman, 2019
BARBARA HAMMER "A Salute to Barbara Hammer" at Doc Fortnight 2020
Saturday, February 8th, 4:30pm
MoMA 11 W 53rd St. New York, NY 10019
Before she died of cancer in 2019, the legendary artist, filmmaker, and QAM Mentor Barbara Hammer enlisted several of her friends, including Deborah Stratman, Lynne Sachs, and Mark Street, to draw upon her archive of abandoned projects and unused materials to make new work. The result is a testament to Hammer’s generosity, courage, and fierce, lifelong commitment to putting images of women, queer people, the aging, and the otherwise marginalized onto our movie screens and into our collective conscience. Part of MoMA's Doc Fortnight 2020, the program will include Stratman's Vever (for Barbara), Sachs' A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer) and Street's So Many Ideas impossible To Do All.
CHRISTINA QUINTANA (CQ) Playwriting class + 2 live readings & Happy Hour Cabaret!
Playwriting class: February 11th - March 3rd 92Y 1395 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10128
Craft class/reading: Saturday, February 8th (crafts at 11am, reading at 1:30pm) BGSQD at The Center 208 West 13th St. New York, NY 10011
Gender Reveal reading series: Sunday, February 9th, 9pm KGB Bar 85 East 4th St. New York, NY 10003
Happy Hour Cabaret: Saturday, February 29th, 5pm The Lark 311 West 43rd St., 5th Floor New York, NY 10036
2016-2017 QAM Fellow Christina Quintana (CQ) will teach a four-session class at 92Y on playwriting. In the workshop, participants will explore theatrical texts that challenge the boundaries of genre, experiment with audience invitation, and flood the stage with poetry, all the while pursuing first drafts of their own daring new plays. More info and sign up here
Additionally, Quintana (CQ) can be seen live at three events in February: reading at a free combination craft class/reading hosted by Gregory Pardlo at BGSQD at The Center (more here), reading at the Gender Reveal reading series (along with 2011-2012 QAM Fellow Aldrin Valdez!) at KGB Bar (more here), and presenting new music in an acoustic concert for Happy Hour Cabaret at The Lark (more here).
Dora Santana, madison moore, Jian Neo Chen
GAYATRI GOPINATH New Directions in Trans of Color Scholarship roundtable
Tuesday, February 11th, 6-8pm
NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality 285 Mercer St., 4th Floor New York, NY 10003
Trans of color scholars, activists, and artists are radically transforming the terrain of gender and sexuality studies today. This roundtable showcases new work in trans of color scholarship, activism, and cultural production. Jian Neo Chen (Ohio State University), madison moore (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Dora Santana (John Jay College, CUNY) speak about their recently published books and works-in-progress that chart exciting new directions in the field—from theorizing trans futures, to Afro diasporic technologies, to queer fabulousness. Moderated by Hentyle Yapp (NYU Department of Art and Public Policy).
Current QAM Mentor Gayatri Gopinath serves as the Director of NYU's Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, presenter of the program, which is co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.
As part of MoMA's Doc Fortnight 2020, This Is an Address, the 2019 short film directed by 2012-2013 QAM Fellow Sasha Wortzel, will screen with Alexe Poukine's Sans frapper (That Which Does Not Kill). Wortzel's film reflects on a time in the 1970s when the piers at the end of Gansevoort Street were a popular place for cruising and celebrating gay male life, only to become a makeshift shelter in the 1990s for a community of homeless LGBTQ+ people, many of them HIV-positive (as documented in remarkable video interviews), and, more recently, an inhospitable space thanks to gentrification.
BAM - Peter Jay Sharp Building 30 Lafayette Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217
Go Fish, the 1994 film directed by Multi-year QAM Mentor Rose Troche, will screen at BAM as part of the Valentine's Day-timed film series, Long Weekend of Love. The film balances sassy wit with incisive insight into the nuances of lesbian love and friendship. Shot in intimate, lo-fi black and white on the streets of Chicago, Go Fish simmers with playful sexual tension as it traces the will-they-or-won’t-they relationship that develops between a cool-girl graduate student and an unassuming, crunchy, granola-ish lesbian whose friends are determined to bring the pair together.
For Dixon Place's Femme Fest, Current QAM Fellow Sarah Sanders presents an in-development showing of In My Name, a project currently in development by the artist with QAM Mentor Mashuq Mushtaq Deen.Sanders writes, "My name is Sarah Sanders. Like the press secretary. My last name would have been Schneiderman but my great-grandfather changed it to sound less Jewish. And here I am, a white, queer, ritual-craving, anti-Zionist Jew from Montana who shares a name with a white nationalist apologist. In My Name is a mostly-solo theatre piece using ritual, personal narrative, interviews, original music, and emails to the press secretary to grapple with the ways that whiteness and American Jewish identity intersect— and to ask (where) does spirituality fit into all this?! There will be challah."
Opening reception: Thursday, February 20th, 6–9pm On view through: May 9th
Art in General 145 Plymouth St. Brooklyn, NY 11201
Multi-year QAM Mentor Avram Finkelstein is one of four curators included in Aliza Shvarts: Purported, Shvarts' first solo exhibition in New York, at Art in General. Shvarts’ performance, video, installation and text-based practice explores reproductive labor and its biological and societal maintenance through queer and feminist understandings. Read against the current climate of renewed anti-abortion laws and activism against sexual violence, the exhibition brings together over a decade of the artist’s work, as well as newly commissioned work, that complexly questions the interrelated dynamics of gender, sexuality, consent and power as they play out inside contemporary culture. Finkelstein participates in a newly commissioned 4-channel video, part of Shvarts' Disconsent series.
Olaiya Olayemi in performance (photo by Eric Longenecker)
OLAIYA OLAYEMI ado (a remix of my name): a biomyth performance art piece
Wednesday, February 26th, 7:30pm
Dixon Place 161A Chrystie St. New York, NY 10002
For Dixon Place's Femme Fest, Current QAM Fellow Olaiya Olayemi presents a work-in-progress showing of ado (a remix of my name): a biomyth performance art piece. The performance combines text, movement, song, and visual art to explore the pains and pleasures of a blktranswomynartist. This spiritually and erotically charged story encourages its audience/witnesses to remix themselves so that they can remix the world.
More information and tickets here and on Facebook here
ONGOINGS IN NYC
Felicita "Felli" Maynard, detail of "Boi Kween," 2017
Felicita "Felli" Maynard - The Now Current QAM Fellow Felicita "Felli" Maynard is showing work in a group exhibition entitled The Now at Pen + Brush. Maynard works across traditional analog and alternative photography processes to create artwork to further understand themselves and their ancestors. They focus on retelling stories that challenge misrepresented histories of people from the African Diaspora, the beauty of the Black body and investigating the complex identities that compromise gender and sexuality. Through February 11. More here
Sarah Mihara Creagen, "Grafting: Union must be kept moist until the wound has healed," 81 x 50in, 2019
2018-2019 QAM Fellow Sarah Mihara Creagen is featured in a group exhibition entitled The Extraordinary at Hunter East Harlem Gallery. Each of the eight artists in the show are currently in the process of gaining, or currently possess an O-1 Non-immigrant Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement. Complimentary public programming will include workshops with immigration lawyers, support group meetings with other visa seekers and awardees, artist talks and tours, among other relevant events. Through February 29. More here
Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel - She Persists 2012-2013 QAM Fellows Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel's Lost in the Music is a highlighted work of She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York 1919-2019, a yearlong exhibition at Gracie Mansion, curated by Jessica Bell Brown and presented by First Lady Chirlane McCray. Through February. More here
Carlos Motta - Home Is a Foreign Place Multi-year QAM Mentor Carlos Motta is showing work in the group exhibition Home Is a Foreign Place: Recent Acquisitions in Context, at the Met Breuer. The show highlights recent acquisitions from Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, all made between 1944 and 2016. Through June. More here
Image credits (from top left): Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel, installation view of "Lost in the Music" at the New Museum, 2017; Carlos Motta, Untitled from the series "Midway upon the journey of our life/ I found myself within a forest dark,/ For the straightforward pathway had been lost," 2019
SAVE THE DATE!
March 6th - March 29th:Interstate (by Kit Yan and 2012-2013 QAM Fellow Melissa Li, and directed by Jesca Prudencio) is a Queer Asian-American pop-rock musical about two trans people at different stages of their journeys, navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding community in the era of social media. It charts Dash, a transgender spoken word performer as he goes on a cross-country tour with Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter, as the activist band, Queer Malady, fueled by the allure of fame and a desire to connect with the Queer Asian community. The band’s fiercely political and deeply personal music touches Henry, a transgender teenage blogger living in middle America, who finds solace in their art as he struggles with his own identity and family. Premiering at Mixed Blood Theatre. More here