A past Nayland Blake performance of Crossing Object (inside Gnomen) (photo by Scott Rudd)

Artist Nayland Blake probably won’t care if they make you uncomfortably confused or paralyzed with amazement. These are the kinds of reactions they expect to elicit with their work. This Saturday, Blake is returning to the New Museum for their performance series Crossing Object (inside Gnomen) (2017–18), in which they interact with visitors in the museum lobby dressed as a bear-bison creature named Gnomen. According to the event description, Gnomen “can change sex and gender” and is the official “fursona” of the artist. A fursona, in turn, “is an avatar in the furry community, where personal expression is bound up with nonhuman identities and fantasies.”

In all likelihood, you probably had your favorite stuffed animal whom you considered your most intimate companion or even alter ego for many years (mine was a bear named John). Blake considers our furry relationships as essential to our early definitions of the self. So while you adorn Gnomen with ribbon, take a selfie, or indulge in a hug, you might just end up confronting your childhood self.

When: Saturday, October 7, 1–5pm
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

More info here

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Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.