Sticky Fingers: Queers Running the Stage Art Gamut (2/17/2007)
Sticky Fingers featured a medley of performances ranging from spoken word poetry to electro-rock by queer artists from across the eastern seaboard. Held at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY, the show was stimulating in its polymorphous perversity, the performances audacious in their satirical elements and guttural verve. Manhattan-based artist Chavisa Woods opened the night with her spoken word piece “No One is Ever Going to Touch You Like This.” Woods’ piece was a powerful inquiry the reality of passion and fantasy. The force of her language was materially rendered onto her body as a space of confrontation and mutilation: the inquisitive nature of her question “Do you lack passion?” asked while being whipped became an imperative to the audience to rethink their emotions.
Woods’ piece was just one of the many highlights of the show. Philly-based, electro-rock, multimedia performance artist LotSix, also the show’s producer, electrified the audience with her danceable beats, incisive lyrics, and poignant visuals. Her performance was refreshing in its approach to salient political and cultural issues. What distinguishes LotSix from other queer artists is her ability to refrain from the pervasive dogmatism that has dominated the queer performance scene. This is what makes a LotSix performance unique: her music is not comprised of trite didactic commentary but satirical ruminations on life. Songs like “You Are” mock the necessity to “out” and place labels on people—here, the “you are” is a mocking interpellation of Sarah Gilbert as she was outed by Curve Magazine (then Deneuve Magazine) in the early 90s—while songs such as “Contextuality” play upon the seriousness of relationship issues through a retelling of a personal experience.
Katz, the solo member of the Athens Boys Choir, blends spoken word poetry with hip-hop beats to create dynamic music that, like LotSix’s music, is wonderfully creative and avoids the bland aftertaste of the standard politically-driven queer performance. His songs “WaHo”—a dedication to his love of Waffle House—and “Tranny Got Pack”—a parody of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”—were priceless in their hilarity. “Sticky Fingers” also featured short films by Phoebe Morris and Jen Heck, the latter whose film “Airplanes” was recently awarded first-runner up of the 2007 PlanetOut Short Movie Award. Closing the show was Brooklyn-based, post-riot grrl band Marla Hooch, who rocked the space with their hard-hitting, but less gritty and angry than their riot grrl predecessors, music.