Living in New York, you get used to loss–not necessarily just the loss of beloved people, but of establishments. These bars, clubs, dives and cafes, particularly queer and queer-friendly spaces, are not just favored locations to grab a bite or a beer, but they’re where communities and even, worlds are built and thrive (even if temporarily).
I’m a sucker for disco balls. There, I said it. If anywhere or anything includes a mirror ball, I’m immediately a fan. I’m like a moth to a shimmering, glittering flame.
But beyond my lizard brain fixation with shiny objects, disco balls can be harnessed as a complex symbol–a metaphor for community, excess, escapism, utopia, self-fashioned identity and even, safety in nightlife.
Stumbling, bleary-eyed, back into the outside world, the morning after clubbing isn’t exactly the magic hour. Or at least, not typically. But, Richard Renaldi’s photographic series Manhattan Sunday not only merely captures the still-awake but not-yet-hungover post-clubbing period of 5, 6 or even 9AM, but it also glamorizes it.
“I’m your transformer Call me Marlene Call me Gino That’s me, you know.” –Gina X Performance “Nice Mover” With her leather-bound looks and Quentin Crisp hero worship, Gina X Performance’s Gina Kikione knows a thing or two about androgyny and gender queering. Kikione opens her narcotic club anthem adopting the identities of both the preeminent old …
Walking through the multitude of black-and-white photographs at the Grey Art Gallery’s compelling retrospective of photographer Tseng Kwong Chi’s brief yet prolific artistic career, one nagging questions comes to mind: Who exactly was Tseng Kwong Chi?
“Dancing’s total freedom be yourself and choose your feelin’ come on get up wanna see some swingin’, swayin’, movin’, groovin’, slidin’, glidin’, rockin’, reelin’, come on get up everybody dance” –Sylvester “Dance (Disco Heat)” In Fiona Buckland’s captivating and almost criminally under-read Impossible Dance: Club Culture and Queer World-Making, Buckland analyzes the queer worlds created …
In José Esteban Muñoz’s now probably over-quoted introduction to Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, Muñoz describes, “Both the ornamental and the quotidian can contain a map of the utopia that is queerness” (1). Similar to Muñoz’s assertion, artist Anna Campbell works almost exclusively with “the ornamental and the quotidian” as a site for …
I’m about ready for another dose of maniacal queer nightlife obsessing so grab yourself a hot drink and enter….The Ethyl Eichelberger Video Lounge!
Needless to say, the city makes us people spoiled. The abundance of possibilities and limitlessness of the outreach perpetuate a lifestyle centered around endless shuffling and seeking the ‘newer’, ‘the prettier’ or simply ‘the better’. Small Town Gay Bar, Malcolm Imgram’s 2006 documentary about two gay bars in deep deep Mississippi serves as a reminder of how not every dish is served with the same ease and hospitality to everyone’s plates.