The Alternative Miss World was started in London in 1972 by artist Andrew Logan. Rejecting the usual categorisations of what a vanity contest usually involves, Logan created these competitions to celebrate the endless possibilities of transformation rather than examining idealised concepts of beauty.
Existing for an impressive forty two years, the competition has hosted a selection of London’s most exhilarating and raw subculture. From Derek Jarman to Leigh Bowery, Divine, David Hockney, David Bailey, Judy Blame, John Maybury and Brian Eno; pioneers of late 20th century culture have either judged, been judged or simply gone to party at Logan’s carefully curated and flamboyant parties. Now in 2014, Logan will be presenting us with the 13th competition at Shakespeare’s Globe, so to celebrate we went to his studio to have a chat about some of his favourite ever costumes created for the competition.
Can you talk to us about some of your favourite outfits. Not necessarily for the performance, more the clothing?
God, there’s so many of them! I’ll start with Burnel Penhaul as Miss Gale Force Wind in 1991. Burnel was known as the ‘Transformer’. He was an extraordinary man, he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he did have a lot of sex though which was the problem; he was HIV ‘group’, as it was back then as HIV didn’t exist.
What year was this?
Late 80s, I suppose. So for a while he was ok and then he got worse and worse and all his friends said you must do something about it, which he did, but by then it was too late. He passed away in hospital.
That’s terrible, what was his outfit that he wore?
As ‘Miss Gale Force Wind’ he had a series of extraordinary outfits. He was [...]
New York based American video and performance artist Kalup Linzy is a creative machine. His extensive lo-fi video work can only be described as well executed story telling borrowing heavily from soap opera performances and narratives that truly pushes the boundary of gender relations in video. His video work chronicles the melancholic melodramas of his characters, often played by Linzy and friends dressed in drag, as they deal with family, sexuality, acceptance, the art world, and community.
After moving to New York in 2003 and inclusion in breakthrough exhibitions at the Studio Museum Harlem and Taxter and Spengemann, Kalup went on to receive acclaimed reviews by the New York Times and high profile grants and fellowships such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Creative Capital Foundation Grant. He has since shown at The Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, Prosepct 1, Birmingham Museum of Art, and MoMa. Amongst his list of friends and collaborators are James Franco, Macaulay Culkin, Michael Stipe, Chloe Sevigny, and Tunde Adipembe of the band “T.V. on the Radio”. Kalup has also lectured students about film at Harvard University, Columbia University, and New York University.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Kalup to talk about growing up in Florida, working with James Franco and Macaulay Culkin, his web series, and drag.
Tell me a little about growing up in Florida. How has this shaped you as an artist and influenced your video and performance work
I grew up in a small close knit rural community. I was raised by my grandmother in my early childhood. Then I lived with my aunt and uncle who helped my grandmother with me. I was also close to my father who lived about 10 miles away. He had a [...]
During the first weekend of September, tattoo artists and collectors from all over the world returned the historic Windsor Station in downtown Montreal for the twelfth installment of the convention known formally as Art Tattoo Montreal. As usual, well before the convention opened to the public there was a lineup into the street – albeit this year, many attendees were subjected to waiting outside in a downpour of fall rain. Nevertheless, the rain did not put a damper on the event, and the former railway station quickly filled with eager visitors upon opening, staying that way for the next three days.
While the convention hosted a number of artists returning from the previous year, there was also a variety of less familiar faces, including, but certainly not limited to, Henning Jorgensen, Nick Collela, Norm, and Zac Scheinbaum. Unlike previous years, the convention also included two guest lectures by Chuck Eldridge, owner and operator of the Tattoo Archive in Winston Salem, North Carolina. While many tattoo conventions focus on showcasing some of the best contemporary tattooing, rarely do they include free educational seminars on the history of tattooing. Eldridge’s lectures on historic tattoo storefronts and former Toronto tattooer “Beachcomber Bill”, otherwise known as Ken Cotterell, provided a refreshing and much welcomed addition to the convention’s milieu from someone well versed in the history of tattooing.
It is hard to represent, in both words and images, the sensorial experience one feels when attending a tattoo convention. The constant buzzing of tattoo machines, the smell of antiseptic, the slow shuffling of bodies down narrow aisles, and the constant bombardment of imagery via tattooed skin, artist banners, portfolios, and merchandise, are just a few of the reoccurring encounters one has with his or her senses. The text and photographs [...]
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life), Allison Anders’s 1994 film which chronicles the lives of two women, Mousie (Seidy Lopez)and Sad Girl (Angel Aviles), living in Echo Park, Los Angeles. One of the first movies of its kind to focus on Chicana/Chola characters – many of the actors in the film were residents of Echo Park, some involved with barrio gangs – Mi Vida Loca became a cult classic. Mousie and Sad Girl are best friends involved in the same gang whose shared relationship with the man who fathers their children, Ernesto, brings turmoil.
Considering recent mainstream appropriations of Cholo/a fashion (from runway shows to tattooing), the authenticity of Mousie and Sad Girl’s self-representation is a reminder of the origins of urban 1980s/90s Latina culture.
In the aftermath of the beating of Rodney King and the Los Angeles Riots in 1992, Anders’s almost ethnographic methodology – she worked closely with many in the Echo Park neighborhood to accurately portray its resident’s dialogue and linguistic style, for example – was criticized as well as revered. To commemorate the anniversary, Sang Bleu has collected this series of stills from the film.
Pink Kinky: Japan’s Sex Underground by Su Zume and published by Kingyo Books, is an exploration of of Japanese sex subcultures through interviews with prominent industry figures and lavish visual imagery.
Though it looks at more typical aspects of the sex industry such as porn and hosting, Pink Kinky focuses more specifically on the subterranean communities and societies that cater to specific fetishes and sexual desires.
Commercial Japanese pornography has a large universal following due to its wide range of themes and media and this wealthy spectrum continues into the underground non-commercial industry that Pink Kinky explores; interviews range from one with the owner of the Alpha Inn, the infamous SM love hotel, to manga artists, rope bondage masters and ‘ballooners’, participants of the fetish for touching and playing with balloons in a sexual context.
Such a variety of pursuits of sexuality is what makes Pink Kinky so interesting, there’s a topic to appeal to any reader in the same way there’s an apparent sexual subculture for any individual in Japan.
The accompanying images’ vivid theatricality captures the kitschy, fantastical aesthetic that dominates much of the industry. The world of underground kink that Pink Kinky uncovers is in stark visual contrast to Japan’s traditional erotic artworks, such as Shunga woodblocks, but its influence cannot be overlooked. Fetish communities worldwide have benefitted from the influences of the Japanese fetish scene, such as the fetish for Shibari, the erotic art of rope bondage. Su Zume interviews Naka Akira on his rope bondage performances and why shibari is perceived as one of the most accessible and common subcultures within the industry.
Pink Kinky covers underground sexual preferences and practices that sometimes have prominent crossovers with mainstream Japanese sexuality, such as the public reading of pornographic anime and the popularity of love hotels [...]
To celebrate this exciting new exhibition of Sang Bleu friends, Danny Fox, Liam Sparkes and Kinglsey Ifill in Moscow, I thought I’d share with you all a book Kingsley made and then sent to me in the post the other month called ‘Paradise of Neurosis’. He made the book himself and his curation of his brutal yet emotional prints is really quite beautiful. You can see more of his underrated work here.
The raw and intoxicated nature of Sparkes illustrations, Fox’s paintings and Ifill’s photographs will be in its expected abundance, following on from their show BRUTALES MATANZAS in Paris earlier this year.
More information about the show can be found here it had its opening party tonight
Also you can read an interview where we spoke to Danny about his favourite paintings earlier this year on Sang Bleu here
“Tenant 1: The subjugation of women and the earth is one in the same.”
The FUTURE FEMINISM collective includes artists Antony Hegarty, Kembra Pfahler, Bianca and Sierra Casady, and Johanna Constantine. Over the last three years, the group has developed a series of tenants that comprise a feminist manifesto of sorts. As they explain, “FUTURE FEMINISM is a call to arms to reorganize ourselves as a species and affirm archetypically feminine values.” Touching on the links between environmentalism and feminism, organized religion and feminist spirituality, the collective invites new ways of thinking about feminism and new vocabularies to speak about global female subjugation, as well as female power. To illustrate this “frontier feminist point-of-view,” the group is holding various “provocations” this month at The Hole in NYC. The exhibition includes a thirteen-night performance and lecture series which will debut the 13 Tenants of Future Feminism. (including a variety of Sang Bleu contributors such as Lydia Lunch and Viva Ruiz)
Performances begin at 8pm, doors at 7:45pm, and all events are open to the public on a first-come first-serve basis. Suggested donation: $10. The opening reception is free.
More information can be found here
Thursday, September 11: Opening 6-9PM
Friday, September 12: Bianca and Sierra Casady, Sarah Schulman
Saturday, September 13: Johanna Constantine, Lydia Lunch
Sunday, September 14: The Factress aka Lucy Sexton, Clark Render as
Margaret Thatcher, Laurie Anderson
Wednesday, September 17: Narcissister, Dynasty Handbag, No Bra
Thursday, September 18: Ann Snitow speaks with the Future Feminists
Friday, September 19: Kiki Smith presents Anne Waldman, Mei-Mei
Berssenbrugge and Anne Carson
Saturday, September 20: Kembra Pfahler and The Girls of Karen Black