Production still from “Soldier of Female” (2017) at the Kitchen (photo by Patrick Staff, ©Kembra Pfahler)

Kehmbra Pfahler is one of those iconic New York City performers who’s nearly impossible to pin down with neat descriptors. Among other things, she’s invented her own genre of performance art (“Availibism”), made and performed in experimental films, modeled for Calvin Klein, and fronted an ongoing death-metal-glam-punk band project, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. She’s been making transgressive, groundbreaking work since her days in the ’80s and ’90s East Village scene, whose ravaging by AIDS she witnessed firsthand. Citing influences as diverse as Viennese Actionism, ’80s clubs like the Pyramid and Palladium, and the legendary performance and conceptual artist Lorraine O’Grady, Pfahler continues to deal in confrontational, aesthetically rich, strikingly original ways with gender, bodies, and the structural inequities that surround and affect us.

On October 30, Dirty Looks, the bi-coastal platform for queer experimental film, video, and performance interventions, returns to the Kitchen, where Pfahler and her collaborators promise to present a “harrowing evening.”

What: Dirty Looks: Kembra Pfahler

Where: The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan

When: Monday, October 30, 8pm

More info here

Laila Pedro is a writer and scholar based in New York. She holds a PhD in French from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and is currently at work on a book tracing artistic connections between Cuba, France, and...