[March 7 2017]
“Crumbling World Runway” curated by India Menuez used performance as emergency response. Performances celebrated queerness and presented non-binary gender identities in positions of power, exploring our cultural relationship to ecology, media, fashion, and trans-feminism.
Sara Grace Powell MC’d the event as Kelsea Wollffllotterr, a gender ambiguous holistic art advisor, whose breathy irony as an intellect laid the groundwork for the evening. Wollffllotterr outlined four fears and responses to performance: local, chronic, systemic, and acute, as well as four tools to address them: interdisciplinary work, breath, disconnection, and vulnerability. The performances demonstrated these attributes.
Ariel Zetina brought attention to the local environment in the MoMA PS1 VW Dome with an atmospheric DJ set which combined found recording and club music – an interdisciplinary phonic experience. Vocal tracks referenced the environment and set the stage for Maria José who performed an argument between a scientist and oil lobbyist on the validity of global warming. José’s performance demonstrated the chronic impasse of scientific fact in the face of economic gain. The inability of these voices to communicate or come to agreement was only mitigated by taking deep breaths.
Ser Serpas invited the audience to lay on their backs while she projected various internet feeds on the ceiling of the VW Dome. Serpas’ multi-sensory attack of video, sound, and poetry demonstrated a systemic overload of media for a passive audience, who were forced to disconnect from the totality in order to follow certain threads. During Serpas’ performance Women’s History Museum planted audience members who constructed textile sculptures from found objects by following instructions. Women’s History Museum had decorated the interior of the VW Dome with plush fabrics that spoke to a decadent, local and interdisciplinary form of recycling.
Rowan Oliver concluded the evening with a performance of drag queens posing and playing with ceramic tiles. Oliver, with Gia Garrison and Jahmal Golden, danced on center stage while models Matheus Lima, Jordan Barse, Louis Shannon, Natasha Rose Havir Smith, Ang Rand, Sean Michael Bennett and Tess Herbert promenaded evening fashion looks. The drag performance acutely conflated trashy and fancy aesthetics, spectacle and indifference, and objectification and agency into a vulnerable performance. This was taken to an extreme as the performers sequestered themselves behind a white ‘Lancôme’ banner and Olivier created a landscape out of sand and bodies to live stream close up video of an albino boa constrictor surveying the terrain.
Text and Photo Elise Gallant