DIS-COMMODIFY's First Dispatch

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DIS-COMMODIFY's First Dispatch

Back in January, On a drive home from seeing Hide/Seek at the Smithsonian in D.C. Prof C and I had brainstorm to curate a fresh queer art show. We had been bitching about how conservative the selections of works for the Smithsonian actually were, despite the whole Wojnarovich controversy.

It seemed that with the plethora of influential queers that have shaped the history of art, from Michelangelo to Warhol (and all the luminaries in-between and subsequent) there is still no real queer discourse going in the mainstream art world—especially when it comes to women. In short, queers make the art world go 'round.

So within a few weeks we pitched the show DIS-COMMODIfY to the Bushwick arts organization SITEfest. We paired contemporary queer writers and artists together, most of whom had never worked together before. We asked them to create a collaborative work on the spot. No small feat for artists who are notorious loners when it comes to the creative process.

Last Sunday we premiered DIS-COMMODIFY to a packed loft. The Prof aptly described this as an art experiment in five acts. If I admired these artists before, this made me heart them all the more.

The show began with a video from Elisha Lim and Coco Riot from Canada.

Nancy Brooks Brody, a visual artist and one of the founding members of Fierce Pussy, with writer/musician Sara Jaffe (of Erase Errata fame), created a conceptual polemic on creativity and commodity.

Painter, Jen P Harris digitally illustrated while Prof C recited sea-faring (and heart-breaking) poetry in three parts, "Last Dispatch."

Interdisciplinary artist Lee Maida's video played as she sat opposit Jess Arndt who recited what I can only think to call "nouveau dada realism". Their piece, "DIS-COMMODE" tied together (or untied) literary and visual refrences including ballons and Bataille.

And I painted the monologue by writer Anne-E Wood (who's work I've admired for her vivid imagery). In Chinese painting this would be called a landscape of the mind.

Comments [6]

T Hammidi's picture

Gertrude and Alice only one paints

I don't know quite which art historian to cite right now, but the blank wall in front of my computer is looking mighty blank right now!  Calling all scenic painters!   Hi all - chiiming in to say this show looked kick butt.  Jackson Pollock's performative spletching never appealed to me and now I know why: We needed a few hot butches to grab up their coolest black art outfits, and cast an ironic eye on the drone of lesbionic processing and couple-gazing. Here, the interface between literary and visual, the performative and memory, the spoken and the embodied is etched out -- wedding the interdisciplinarity of the arts and thus the "queer" problem.

I'm not sure which animal I dig more: the turtle on the way to sip water with its special tonuge, or the cat who suddenly one finds is relaxing comfortably on a bed, but both appeal to me for their temporal lacing in this lesbionic scene.  The literary-visual exploration features two queers/lesbians co-habitating on display, in an affective zone of intimate banality so familiar to long-term UHaul coupledom.  

What's refreshing is how lively both the writer (Anne-E) and the painter (Moon-G) are in this incarnation of contemporary art: after all, writers are supposed to be poorly dressed and socially awkward; the mythology of the painter is (perhaps) a dedicated creative type who has sniffed too much oil in the name of The True Art, sacrificing physicality for the visual encounter of brush-meets-canvas.  But in this case, both writer and painter seem able to leap a tall building with a single word/brush stroke.  And, indeed, by the end of the piece when Anne-E is left alone to echo in her own question, Moon-G has left the scene with traces of the building she's scaled, behind.   

I'm still chewing on what it all means, but cheers to you Moon and your collaborator for putting this event on.  Truly, we need more female/trans-queer visual art out there, for shore.  


Grace Moon's picture

TH, that was the best review

TH, that was the best review of our event I've heard/read yet Wink

great video interview by the by. to be continued on your post.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Conlite's picture

All very cool (or whatever

All very cool (or whatever "cool" is called in the art world)!

patricia's picture

the real deal!

Congrats to all involved—fabulous initiative.

Not2Taem's picture


Y'all rock.

minniesota's picture

Not Dis-interested

If I knew how to draw, I would express my thoughts and feelings about this art show in drawing instead of writing. Please excuse my inarticulateness.

Very cool to see the our fabulous Moon in art action!


Still searching for the right brainy quote.