23 October 2015 to 25 October 2015
Following on from the success of 2014’s Access All Areas NYC Edition, LADA returns to Abrons Arts Center in New York to present Just Like A Woman: NYC Edition in collaboration with Chelsea Theatre.
“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world.” Lola, The Kinks
A three-day programme of lectures, shows, installations, cabarets, screenings, panels, discussions and book launches looking at the performance of identity – the ways femininity can be ‘performed’ and representations of gender can be queered through performance.
Just Like A Woman features a dazzling array of UK based artists – women performing women, women performing men, men performing women, and artists who go beyond the limits of gender altogether. With Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, Narcissister, CHRISTEENE, George Chakravarthi, The Girls, Dickie Beau, Nando Messias, Lucy Hutson, Kris Grey, Laura Bridgeman & The Drakes, Harold Offeh, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, Krishna Istha, and more.
Just Like A Woman was first presented at City of Women Festival, Slovenia in 2013 and is part of LADA’s Restock, Rethink, Reflect initiative on Live Art and Feminism.
Generously supported by the British Council.
A London edition of Just Like A Woman will be presented at Chelsea Theatre on 13 and 14 November 2015.
Just Like A Woman: NYC Edition Programme:
The Only Way Home Is Through the Show: Performance Work of Lois Weaver
Book Launch and Cocktails with Lois Weaver, Jen Harvie and special guests
LADA is delighted to launch this monumental new publication as the opening event of Just Like A Woman NYC Edition.
Lois Weaver is one of the true pioneers in feminist and lesbian performance. Edited by Jen Harvie, The Only Way Home Is Through the Show is a guided tour of Lois Weaver’s aesthetics, principles, inspirations, innovations, and desires, featuring a wealth of material that has never previously been published. The book explores her collaborative work with Split Britches and Spiderwoman as well as her solo projects, performance interventions, and work as a facilitator, teacher, and as Tammy WhyNot. Published by LADA and Intellect Books in the Intellect Live series.
Girls On Film – a screening
A selection of performance documentation, performances to camera and other films curated and introduced by LADA’s Aaron Wright featuring Oreet Ashery, Cassils, johnsmith (aka Eleanor Fogg), Qasim Riza Shaheen, David Hoyle, Ursula Martinez and many more.
The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, How 2 Become 1
Underground Theatre, 21.00
Imagine your favourite female performance artists channelled through some twisted version of American Idol. Throw in some eggs, feathers and piss and you’re almost there with this ultimate break up show.
“It’s only a matter of time until this darling of the alternative performance scene lives up to her self-appointed nickname.” –Time Out
The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, also known as ‘The Famous,’ is a New York-raised, London-based performance maker of large-scale, stage-based, disastrous feminist spectacles. Her work recently premiered as the opening of SPILL Festival of Performance at The Barbican, London, and a segment on Holstein’s practice was recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Her work has been named: Time Out’s ‘Critic’s Choice in Dance’ and Time Out’s ‘Must See Shows of 2013’, The Stage’s ‘Dance Picks of 2013’, and The Guardian’s ‘Theatre Picks’.
Experimental Theatre, 22.00
A mixed bill of gender queer turns by UK and US artists in the Just Like A Woman programme, MC’d by Split Britches’ Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw.
Featuring short performances by Lucy Hutson, Krishna Istha, Dickie Beau and the first US performance of Nando Messias’ stunning Walking Failure. Messias engages with representations of effeminate men and the queer body. He explores its visibility, invisibility and hyper-visibility and connects this with the way his ‘sissy’ body has been derided, ridiculed, punished, but also celebrated. Walking Failure looks at his inability and unwillingness to ‘walk like a man’ and the potentially devastating consequences of walking with a swish.
Nando Messias is a London based artist whose work straddles performance art, dance and theatre. Informed by queer ideology, his performances combine striking images with a fierce critique of gender, visibility and violence. He has performed in the UK and internationally in galleries, theatres and festivals. As well as a practitioner, Nando is a movement director, choreographer and an academic of queer theory and performance.
Krishna Istha is a member of The Drakes, and a London based artist and performer whose work focuses on queer theory, feminism, drag and gender politics.
The Girls, Diamonds and Toads
venue tbc, From 14.00 to 21.00 (come and go as often as you like)
A tableau vivant that sits somewhere between self-portraiture and performance and invokes the ill-fated heroines of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen whilst alluding to contemporary concerns of voyeurism and female objectification.
“The Girls do not speak or move. It is as though they have been trapped here for decades in these bodies, Havisham-esque, bed ridden and beginning slightly to smell… It’s a parody of feminine beauty and a metaphor for the dangers of the double edged sword of passive objectification.” Beverley Knowles, FAD, 2013
UK artists Zerelda Sinclair and Andrea Blood first collaborated as The Girls in 1996 at Central Saint Martins, London. Their practice focuses on creating staged tableaux, with the outcomes including photography, video and performance. Encompassing black comedy, surrealism, camp, gender, Englishness, and a celebration of the absurd, The Girls’ practice takes on elements of the carnivalesque, albeit in their own distinct fashion.
Laura Bridgeman and The Drakes, The Butch Monologues
Underground Theatre, 14.00
Secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire taken from interviews with butches, masculine women and transmen, living world-wide.
“Succeeds in making us all feel loved.” Lois Weaver
Laura Bridgeman runs Hotpencil Press with Serge Nicholson, an independent press dealing in high-quality, unique and contemporary works that have been ignored by the mainstream. The Drakes are a London-based members group of butches, transmen and gender rebels brought together in friendship and solidarity. Directed by Julie McNamara from Vital Xposure Theatre Company.
Hyper Butch/Hyper Femme
A panel discussion with Lois Weaver/Tammy Whynot, Nando Messias, Narcissister, Peggy Shaw and Laura Bridgeman.
CHRISTEENE/Paul Soileau/Rebecca Havemeyer, Performance Lecture
Paul Soileau is a multidisciplinary artist best know for his personas CHRISTEENE and Rebecca Havemeyer. He is an active member of the Rude Mechs Theater Company in his home of Austin, TX. Soileau presents the shaping and shifting of gender and persona in this active performance/dialogue between his creations, while addressing the calm and chaos of being in the middle of these two very distinct forces of nature.
Harold Offeh, Covers
Underground Theatre, 17.00
The artist embodies images from popular culture and attempts to transform a series of classic music album covers from the 1970s and 80s by black divas.
Harold Offeh works in a range of media including performance, video, photography, interactive and digital media, employing humour as a means to confront the viewer with an assessment of contemporary popular culture. Recently, Offeh has approached the themes of futurism and hair through collective live engagements with other artists, performers and community participation.
A panel discussion with The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, Harold Offeh, Dickie Beau and more.
George Chakravarthi, Negrophilia! and other works
Underground Theatre, 19.00
Negrophilia is a comprehensively documented Euro-American fascination with African and Black diasporic cultures. The allure continues to be prevalent in European cultures through other forms and guises, from academia to Art and popular culture. This performance is an exploration of the Parisian avant-garde culture of the 1920s and its fascination with Africanism (Negrophilia), whilst also referencing Hollywood cinema of the same era such as I Walked With A Zombie, Cat People and King Kong, surrealist artists such Man Ray and Méret Oppenheim, and Darwin’s illustrations of evolution, encapsulated through the image and political discourses of Josephine Baker.
“… a dance performance in which he transforms from an ape to a chorus girl, skewering the histories of racism, evolution and exhibitionism in one long, seductive move.” Mary Paterson
George Chakravarthi was born in New Delhi, India and moved to the UK at the age of ten. Most of his work explores ideas of ‘selfhood’ and deconstructs socially accepted definitions of gender, sexual and racial identity within live, photographic and video performances. A multi-disciplinary artist, he draws inspiration from cinema, art history, public and private spaces, and from collective social histories.
Lucy Hutson Bound
Kris Grey Untitled
Bound is a show about the slippery nature of identities, the ones you give yourself, the ones forced onto you and the ones that were once strong and now you are just clinging on to. More specifically it’s a show about breasts, gender and using urinals. But mostly it is about baring all and coming clean.
Untitled is a performance concerned with destabilizing the notion of bodies as static, unchanging, and immobile in which Kris Grey interacts with a cast of their body from 2009.
Lucy Hutson is a London based performance artist and agitator whose work questions human nature and interrupts social order. Lucy likes to work with found objects and unloved artefacts. Lucy’s work engages with aspects of society that confuse or anger her. Often focusing on capitalism and gender politics, her work manifests itself in interventions, installations, solo performances, film and intimate encounters.
Kris Grey/Justin Credible is a New York based gender queer artist whose work combines strategies of communication, activism, community building, education, lecture, and studio production.
Narcissister, Conditions of the White Mask
Experimental Theatre, 21.00
Incorporating video and new live performance work, Narcissister’s presentation will be an exploration of the unique meaning, symbolism, and potential of the White Narcissister mask.
Narcissister is a Brooklyn-based artist and performer. Wearing mask and merkin, she works at the intersection of performance, dance, visual art and activism. She actively integrates her prior experience as a professional dancer and commercial artist with her current art practice in a range of media which also includes photography, video art, and experimental music.
She has presented work in New York at The New Museum, Moma PS1, the Kitchen, Abrons Art Center as well as many nightclubs, galleries, and alternative art spaces. Narcissister has also presented her work internationally at the Music Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia, at Chicks on Speed’s Girl Monster Festival, at City of Women in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at Copenhagen’s first live art festival, at the Camp/Anti-Camp Aestival at Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin and at Fierce Festival, Birmingham, UK among many others. Narcissister was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for her evening-length piece “Organ Player” which debuted at Abrons Art Center 2013. Narcissister is a recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Award and is a 2015 Theo Westenberger Grantee.
Dickie Beau, Unplugged
Experimental Theatre, 21.30
In an animated lecture Dickie takes an unheard of step to speak in his own voice and tell the story of how his love affair with found sound began; how it speaks not only to, but also for, him; and reveals how there is more to this lip-synching lark than meets the eye…
“Phenomenal talent… a powerful and moving artist… breathtaking.” Time Out
London based drag fabulist and lip-synch maestro Dickie Beau has made his name channelling the voices of others, from Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe to Francis Bacon and Kenneth Williams. Emerging from London’s drag scene, and shapeshifting his way across multiple disciplines, Dickie has taken the art of lip-synching out of nightclubs and into hitherto uncharted territory.
He was winner of Best Alternative Performer at the London Cabaret Awards 2012, received a Jardin d’Europe Contemporary Dance award in 2013, and was recipient of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2014.
re.act.feminism and Are We There Yet? NYC Book Launches
Just Like A Woman Brunch
The Long Table with Lois Weaver
Gallery, 12noon – 14.00
re.act.feminism is a major publication exploring feminist, gender-critical and queer performance art, which played a key role in the development of performance. This publication is based upon the touring exhibition project re.act.feminism #2 – a performing archive, an expanding, temporary and living performance archive that travelled through six European countries from 2011 to 2013.
The project brought together works by over 180 artists and artist collectives from the 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s, as well as contemporary positions from Eastern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the USA and Latin America.
re.act.feminism is edited by Bettina Knaup and Beatrice Ellen Stammer. Co-published by LADA and Verlag fur Moderne Kunst, 2013.
Are We There Yet? is a LADA Study Guide edited by Lois Weaver in collaboration with London based PhD candidate Eleanor Roberts. Existing both in printed form and as an online resource, this multi-layered, multi-voiced Guide is a key component of LADA’s Restock Rethink Reflect project on Live Art and Feminism.
Everyone is invited to the launch of these publications and a Brunch with the Live Art Development Agency, Chelsea Theatre and artists contributing to Just Like A Woman, followed by …
The Long Table
Lois Weaver will host one of her celebrated Long Table events in an open invitation to all to discuss a range of issues about the performance of gender raised by the Just Like A Woman programme. Inspired by Marleen Gorris’ film Antonia’s Line, The Long Table is an experimental open public forum that is a hybrid performance-installation-roundtable-discussion-dinner party designed to facilitate dialogue through the gathering together of people with common interests.
This Is Not A Dream, Film Screening
Experimental Theatre, 14.00 – 16.00
An opportunity to see scholar Gavin Butt and journalist Ben Walters’ widely acclaimed directorial debut This Is Not A Dream, a documentary which charts an underground story of artist’s DIY use of moving image technology, from Warhol’s Factory to contemporary London club performance. Featuring Dickie Beau, David Hoyle, Nao Bustamante, Kalup Linzy, Vaginal Davis and many more. A commission by Performance Matters, a collaboration between Goldsmiths University, University of Roehampton and Live Art Development Agency.
Banner image credit:
George Chakravarthii, image courtesy of the artist
Marking the impact of performance on feminist histories and contemporary gender politics
Marking the impact of performance on feminist histories and contemporary gender politicsRead more
An article related to LADA’s ‘Live Art and Feminism Edit-a-thon’Read more
Online Exhibition on Google Cultural InstituteRead more
A Long Table on Live Art and Feminism hosted by Lois WeaverRead more
Performance by Liz Aggiss followed by a conversation and screening of seminal works by older women artistsRead more