Maggie Lee’s Music Videos is the artist’s first exhibition in London. On view at Arcadia Missa until October 27, the show features two music installations playing in tandem, Galcher Lustwerk and Miho Hatori’s New Optimism, respectively.
Whitney Claflin writes: “On two TV sculptures, Maggie Lee presents music videos. The visuals are set to the music of Galcher Lustwerk and Miho Hatori’s New Optimism. They play concurrently. There is a stamp for entry. On the wall, a framed body– an image of a birth, twins built of disco ball parts. In the gallery’s office, a concoction of magnesium powder and glitter crystalline is adhered to paper.
The tension between the two audios tracks pulling against each other reminds us that sound can also be felt. The viewer is encouraged to move through rooms as the music pulls them in different directions, much like a club night with multiple rooms, or due to the stamp for entry, more like a discotheque. By mixing analogue and digital, Lee creates sculptural soundbaths accompanied not so much by quotidien items, but things that could be considered throwaway bedroom objects– funky-colored baubles and hair clips that one could find hiding under their bed minimally adorn the space, harking back to visuals of a teen-dream movie bedroom. Lee is a master of this style of heightened domestic symbolism.
However, this exhibition expands those ideas and Lee’s work transposes domestic themes and video sculptures. Being a child from the 90’s, music videos– usually viewed in a domestic setting, bedroom or living area, are the perfect conduit for Lee. Birth of Twins (2018) features the “image of a birth, twins built of disco ball parts”– inviting us to dance, enjoy, feel fulfilled. The haptic nature of this work and the concoction piece hanging in the gallery’s office mediate a tactile, sensory relationship between the two videos. Through Music Videos, the viewer is invited to smell, hear, see, and most importantly, touch– with our eyes and ears.
Revolving around the promotion of sexual health, wellbeing, and ecosexuality, the sex-positive fundraiser for Judson’s renovation fund offered booths with services such as mini sex coaching sessions by Pleasure Mechanics, sexual astrology readings, aromatherapy sessions by Gayle Damiano, and even one inviting attendees to create their own edible sculptures. Including fundraising efforts such as a silent auction and a raffle for sex toys and vintage porn, the crew from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise sold apparel, books and art donated from friends and family, featuring sports bras from our Software line designed by Lena Henke and Jacolby Satterwhite. Also on the table were textured ceramic hearts by Ser Serpas and free kinky cookies. The adjacent booth sold Stormy Daniels’ gender-neutral perfume Truth, which was also part of the raffle as a possible prize.
Themes of care-taking and community were made apparent via a continuous sound bath by Constellation Chor positioned in front of the altar, chanting and promoting a peaceful energy exchange. Beneath the soundbath site was a bed set up for free seven-minute cuddle sessions with Barbikat, whose sign read “join me for a few minutes of connecting, calming, loving.”
At the closing of the silent auction, the attention moved to the front of the room to announce raffle winners and introduce Linda Montano, or rather, Bob Dylan by Linda Montano. The artist, with a drawn pencil mustache, circular sunglasses and a red scarf tied around her neck, sang a love song to the pancreas, ovaries and testes while backup dancers swayed beside her. Stating that she would accept $1 for a dance, several event-goers took up her offer as she held them tenderly. It was difficult to distinguish between who was a guest and who was a close friend, creating an inherently inclusive experience.
As the event drew towards an end, Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens screened their film Water Makes Us Wet, an exploration of the ecosexuality of water, its politics, and why we must always stay wet to survive. What was meant to be a Sunday afternoon fundraiser ended up feeling like an all-encompassing sexual happening for a righteous cause.
Juliana Huxtable and Carolyn Lazard’s exhibition epigenetic at Shoot the Lobster in New York invites visitors through its soft purple lighting and erotic atmosphere. The press release utilizes the script from Carolyn Lazard’s Consensual Healing (2018) video featured in the show, and is partly inspired by Octavia Butler’s science fiction short story Bloodchild. Lazard said “[b]ig themes from the story make their way into the show– we [Huxtable and Lazard] were interested in exploring trauma, survival, and the weird and complicated decisions people make to survive.”
Transporting the viewer across alien temporalities and geographies with its transcendence of both gender and humanity, Juliana Huxtable’s Untitled (2018) nudes depict an animalized human with multiple genitalia and a tail. This sexualized depiction as a call to queer reproduction/futurity complicates and replicates questions of how anxieties around difference are formed.
epigenetic is on view until June 17. Carolyn Lazard is currently featured in Post Institutional Stress Disorder, a group exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark, on view until January 6, 2019.