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Posted inArt

The Twilight Performance of an Aging Queen

MIAMI BEACH — Amidst the overabundance, overproduction, and overstimulation of the spectacle that is the Miami art fairs, it becomes progressively harder by the day to recollect what I have seen or even what I have liked. And yet, the thing about authenticity is that it can persist, despite an environment designed to shout it down. And I saw it in Conrad Ventur’s installation Montezland, at Participant Inc’s booth at the Untitled art fair.

Posted inArt

The Golden Age of Times Square Sleaze Is Back

“You’re all too young and too clean-cut to remember, but I was a star in the golden age of Times Square sleaze,” snears burlesque superstar Tigger-James Ferguson, playing a washed-up Times Square prostitute in my favorite of his performances. That piece kept popping up in my mind while visiting Scott Ewalt’s exhibition Back in the Night: Psychotronic Landscapes, Objects & Souvenirs at Participant Inc.

Posted inArt

If Gender Is a Performance, Can’t Artistic Importance Be Too?

Attending transgender singer, songwriter and performance artist Mx Justin Vivian Bond’s exhibition, The Fall of the House of Whimsy at Participant Inc., I left feeling horribly conflicted, so conflicted that it took me a few weeks to even approach the topic in writing. Even though I originally felt irritated by Bond’s self-mythologizing tenancy, I began to later wonder if Bond’s self-creation as an artistic icon is any different from any other art exhibition.

Posted inArt

Surviving AIDS

The most visceral pieces in Brooklyn-based artist and activist Hunter Reynolds’ solo show Survival AIDS at Lower East Side nonprofit art space Participant Inc. are not, as one might expect, the blood splattered newspaper clippings screaming ominous headlines posted on the walls of the gallery. Rather, it’s the packing tape mummies collapsed on the floor and suspended from the walls that are the real shockers. The bodies missing from their cocoons seem to have only recently burst out, resurrected.