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Contemporary artists Anne Imhof, Eliza Douglas and composer Billy Bultheel released a new single ‘Dark Times’, the first track taken from their upcoming SEX - comprised primarily of refigurations of songs composed for Imhof's art show of the same name, which was exhibited in Chicago in 2019.
A hyperbolic anti-anthem of the times we live in, ‘Dark Times’ lyrically references poet Bertolt Brecht’s famous poem written for Walter Benjamin titled Motto to the ‘Svendborg Poems’. The song manifests itself as a ballad in which Eliza Douglas’ captivating voice recites Brecht’s haunting lines to the classically composed melody.
The 'Dark Times' video was shot by Lola Raban-Oliva and Jean-René Étienne and edited by Joji Koyama, under the artistic direction of Eliza Douglas. Douglas is an acclaimed artist who has held solo exhibitions at Air de Paris, Paris, Jewish Museum, New York and Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, among others, a well as having collaborated with artists including Hercules and Love Affair, Antony and the Johnsons and Devendra Banhart, alongside being Anne Imhof’s closest collaborator. Together, the pair have been working together since 2016, with Douglas composing and performing music for Imhof’s performances in this time.
Billy Bultheel is a composer and performance-maker based in Berlin and Brussels. His practice combines heavy electronics with medieval and baroque polyphony. From 2012-2019 Bultheel has been developing musical aspects of Imhof's performances, movies and installations and composed music for Imhof's pieces alongside with Eliza Douglas and Imhof herself. Billy Bultheel has a BA in music from the Royal Conservatory of The Netherlands and an MA in Choreography and Performance at the Justus-Liebig University, Germany.
Anne Imhof's SEX began as an art show
SEX was composed during the formation of Imhof’s art show of the same name. Exhibitions of SEX are immersive, atmospheric events, creating environments inhabited by groups of collaborators. During the day, visitors are able to explore Imhof’s installation of paintings, sculptures and architectural interventions for free. Then in the ticketed evening events, the spaces will come alive with music, lights and live performances. The evening performances contain strobe lighting and explicit content.
Adrian Searle described the evening shows at the Tate Modern thus:
I am left with a head full of images. A man thrashes at his own shadow with a bullwhip, the rhythmic echo of whip against wall a metronomic ricochet through the space. A waltz, set to a heartbeat pulse, becomes a wrestling match, or a tender embrace as the couple slowly falls on to a mat. A procession passes through, bodies lifted by their companions. Carrying becomes caring. Or are they being led to an auto-da-fé? A man looks down at the milling audience from a high gantry, as though he were on a balcony, watching the street below.
Adrian Searle, on SEX as staged at The Tate Modern
Anne Imhof, Douglas and Bultheel, reworked the songs from how they appeared in the show, the result is a compelling record that acts as an accompaniment to the SEX performances, as well as standing alone as a progressive collection of contemporary compositions.
Check out the video for 'SEX" here:
Anne Imhof, Eliza Douglas, Billy Bultheel — Vivaldi youtu.be
This article by Marshall Shore originally appeared in the September 2015 Issue.
New York. Los Angeles. Phoenix. Though this may sound like stops on a national concert or exhibition tour, but it’s actually the journey of a relatively obscure, but iconic gay artist who changed how we look at male and female beauty.
Despite the fact that his art was a precursor to Tom of Finland and Alberto Vargas, George Quaintance (1902-1957) remains a virtually unknown, unsung pioneer of the arts and queer communities – until now.
Ken Furtado and John Waybright (read Marshall Shore's author interview here), crossed paths on their individual quests for Quaintance information. Through their connection, they realized that there was very little authoritative information available on the man whose resume included dancing professionally, painting early pin-up girls, working as a celebrity hairdresser, directing art for several muscle magazines and, most notoriously, creating beefcake images of beautiful men with bulging Levi’s, six-pack abs and perfectly quaffed hair.
“Thunderhead” (left) and “After the Storm.” Quaintance’s most iconic images are from Arizona, most of which contain idealized young men and casual, but abundant, nudity, in a context that was rugged, masculine, romantic, sensuous and erotic.
This alone made the decision to collaborate on a definitive Quaintance biography an easy one for Furtado and Waybright, and the soon-to-be co-authors agreed that Waybright would write about the artist’s years on the East Coast and Furtado would depict the years Quaintance spent in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
“After 10 years and dozens of publishers’ rejections, the George Quaintance biography that John and I co-authored is available as an ebook,” Furtado share on via georgequaintance.com. “John passed away in 2013, and in 2014 I made a New Year’s resolution to create an ebook version by year’s end. I completely rewrote every chapter, adding about 12,000 words to the original manuscript in the form of new information that we learned since first completing the bio. That task was completed, and this morning, the book became available.”
Furtado stuck to his guns and, Quaintance: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer is the only comprehensive look at the artist’s life available today. (Read more on Marshall Shore's visit to the Taschen Gallery's show titled “The Flamboyant Life and Forbidden Art of George Quaintance” here.)
George Quaintance loved to be photographed. This was his favorite photo of himself, wearing a blond wig and tailored cowboy duds.
The Original GQ
Born in rural Virginia, Quaintance showed an early aptitude for art, not farming. And, at the age of 18, he went to New York to study at the Art Students League.
Shortly thereafter Quaintance joined a Vaudeville troupe that was the opening act for Sophie Tucker’s farewell performance. He continued to study ballet and modern dance until an injury forced him to pursue other creative outlets.
From there, he when on to become one of America’s preeminent hair stylists, whose clients included such stage and screen stars as Marlene Dietrich, Helen Hayes, Jeanette MacDonald and Hedy Lamarr.
He also painted formal portraits of celebrities, diplomats, socialites and pinup girls for a variety of magazines in the ‘30s and ‘40s. This opened the door for him to become the art editor for men’s magazine Your Physique. This introduction to the sculpted male physiques of the body building community would influence his art in such a way that it would overshadow his prior artistic endeavors.
Stephen Barclay portrait, Mrs. Victor Moore portrait and “Herald.”
Quaintance’s career culminated with the work he produced from his Phoenix home and studio, dubbed Rancho Siesta, where lived, painted and loved from 1952 to 1957.
Through Quaintance: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer Furtado and Waybright’s shared goal is to tell the complete story of this iconic gay artist’s life.
To purchase a copy of Quaintance: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer, visit smashwords.com. For more information, visit georgequaintance.com.
Fenix Arts, a diverse and inclusive art collective, announced in December 2021 that it is accepting entries from LGBTQIA+ artists for the upcoming exhibit “Queer.”
Artists from the mid-south region are invited to enter their visual art into the juried exhibition with cash awards of up to $500. The deadline for entries is March 20, 2022. The exhibit will open June 2, 2022, at Fenix Arts in Fayetteville, AR, and at Gallery 214 at 4512 Donna Street, Springdale, AR, and run through July 30, 2022.
Fenix Arts, a Fayetteville, Arkansas, non-profit arts center, seeks to support and nurture established, emerging, and under-represented artists of Northwest Arkansas and beyond. “We are committed to providing opportunities for collaboration and connectivity across art disciplines and creating opportunities for community involvement,” said Laurie Foster, President of Fenix Arts. “The focus of this exhibition will be to give voice to this under-represented population to share their stories and dreams. At Fenix Arts, we believe that all people deserve dignity and respect, and a connection to community and resources.”
The exhibit is open to LGBTQIA+ artists, age 18 and above, currently living in the mid-south (Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi). Artworks must have been completed within the past two years and should reflect some aspect of the queer experience. Artists may enter up to three works for an entry fee of $25. 3-D artworks may include up to three views per artwork. The entry fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee entry into the show. Artists are encouraged to submit works that will be available for purchase. Fenix Arts will take a 40 percent commission on works sold during the exhibition. Works will not be accepted after the March 20, 2022 deadline. Entrants will be notified of their acceptance into the exhibit on April 1, 2022.
The guest juror for “Queer” Is Brad Cushman, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Wingate Center of Art+ Design Director/Curator and a studio artist living in Little Rock, Arkansas. Cushman’s curatorial projects have included exhibitions that promote cultural diversity and social justice, through the voices of Black, White, Latino/Hispanic, LGBTQ+2, South Asian, and African artists. Cushman exhibits his own studio art in regional and national exhibitions featuring paintings, polymer gravure etchings, and mixed media works. He is the voice of Picture This on NPR in central Arkansas. His audio essays on art and design have been broadcast since 2005. He can also be seen hosting Inside Art, a television program produced on University TV.
ABOUT FENIX ARTS
Visual and Performing Arts Center at Fenix dba Fenix Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to the artistic experience in Northwest Arkansas. It is a diverse and inclusive art collective of accomplished Arkansas artists who have been juried into the gallery by a curation committee of professional artists, arts advocates and appraisers. The mission of Fenix Arts is to support, encourage, and raise up and promote a diverse arts community in Northwest Arkansas.
I firmly believe creative guilds have the power to change the world and have been doing so since the dawn of time. Quilt guilds, knitting guilds, weaving guilds, and crafting guilds in general have always been a safe-haven for creators to be themselves, get creative, and find meaningful community. Crafting is a great way to decompress, meet new people, form lasting friendships, and find ways to give back to your community. Yet many guilds have no idea how to properly support marginalized members or would be members in their midst.
Fortunately, a lot of crafting and creative guilds these days say they’re looking to prioritize diversity, and especially LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and this is a great first step. But what can your guild do to actually build memberships and support life-long guild bonds beyond its pledge?
As a proud openly gay man who loves to quilt, crochet, weave, and create, I’ll admit; I have never met a guild that fully supports me. I’m not asking for the rainbow carpet treatment; I’m simply asking to express my identity and create with others. I’ve been invited to speak at guilds that, when I arrived, asked me to “tone down the gay,” and not only did that hurt on a personal level, it told me where this guild’s values truly were. If your guild can’t be openly supportive of people like me, you’re actively choosing to welcome the haters and the pearl clutchers at the expense of awesome queer people who just want to craft, make friends, be their authentic selves, and have a good time.
If your guild is serious about truly welcoming members of the LGBTQIA+ community as equals, here are some meaningful steps you can take to do so, because I promise you, there are some very lovely queer people in your community who are dying to be part of an accepting creative group. Wouldn’t you rather have them join, than those who seek to oppress and isolate us?
1. Update Your Bylaws- If your guild hasn’t already done so, update your bylaws to include language that promotes the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ diversity. While you’re at it, make sure it includes racial diversity. This is a great first step that tells the world your guild’s values.
2. Incorporate LGBTQIA+ Nonprofits and Charities in Guild Giving -Many guilds donate to organizations like battered women’s shelters and local food banks. Why not include an LGBTQIA+ nonprofit or two into your annual giving? LGBTQIA+ individuals make up a large percentage of those facing homelessness, hunger, and domestic violence. Find some local or regional organizations making a difference and reach out to them.
3. Remove Official Guild Ties with Charities and Businesses That Foster Hate - This might seem like an obvious choice, but you’d be surprised how many anti-LGBTQIA+ charities and businesses hide in plain sight. Even the best meaning guilds can send the wrong vibes without realizing it.
• Charities: Take a few minutes to study each charity your guild officially works with or gives to and make sure they are not actively against the LGBTQIA+ community.
• Meeting Locations: Does your guild meet in a church? Make sure they’re inclusive toward the LGBTQIA+ community, (AKA, they believe LGBTQIA+ people are fine as they are and not going to Hell).
• Vendors: Is your guild actively buying from and/or encouraging members to shop at stores and businesses that are anti-LGBTQIA? Do a little research before spending your guild’s money. Make sure you’re not supporting businesses that are actively supporting hatred against LGBTQIA+ people. For example Hobby Lobby is owned by David Green, who donates to an organization that is anti-LGBTQIA+.
4. Invite LGBTQIA+ Creators to Speak at Your Guild - There are plenty of successful, fun, LGBTQIA+ creators who would love to speak at your guild. Find some and invite them. It’ll show guild members that you mean what you say about inclusion and acceptance.
5. Include an LGBTQIA+ Reading List on Your Guild Website - Chances are, your guild probably has many LGBTQIA+ allies or would-be allies. Post an LGBTQIA+ friendly suggested reading list in a blog, or elsewhere on your website. This can help would-be allies understand the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, so they can help your guild in being more inclusive.
6. Have a Craft Scholarship Program for New Crafters - A scholarship fund is a great way to create ready-to go “getting started kits” for new members. This is generally a good practice to begin with, but it can be especially helpful for encouraging new LGBTQIA+ members to join, as our community is disproportionately affected by economic inequality. Sometimes simply not having the tools is enough to exclude us from a guild. Don’t let buying a new sewing machine, or the tools to start a craft stop someone from joining.
Partner with your local sewing store, craft store, or sewing machine repair person and ask them to donate used and working sewing machines and supplies. Lend out or give these machines to new guild members. Let your guild know you are looking for supplies, fabric, thread, yarn, etc. and get them involved.
7. Create a Craft Mentorship Program - Crafting, sewing, and making is often something you learned from your mother, or grandmother. Yet, manyLGBTQIA+ individuals have been shunned by their families for simply being who they are. Mentorship can go a long way to helping them connect and learn a new craft.
Create a call-to-action for guild members who want to become mentors to new guild members. This will help not only LGBTQIA+ members, but also members from any marginalized community get into crafting and make meaningful connections.
8. Partner With Local LGBTQIA Organizations to Encourage New Membership - Find local LGBTQIA+ organizations and partner with them. Invite your members to attend their public events and get involved. Make those partnerships visible on your website and public messaging.
9. Celebrate Pride With Your Guild - Make sure your guild is Pride-Positive. This can be as simple as posting positively about Pride on your guild’s Instagram and Facebook, and choosing patterns to showcase from LGBTQIA+ creators.
10. Adopt and Encourage Diverse Group Language - A lot of guilds use the term “ladies” to address their members as a group, and you can see how this automatically isolates everyone who isn’t a lady. Many guilds often also assume that a person’s spouse is a husband, and that everyone has a spouse. Again, this is isolating to people that don’t have this or have a variation of this. Here are some quick ways to adjust how you and your guild address itself.
• Say “everyone” when addressing the crowd, instead of “ladies” • Say “spouse or partner” instead of husband • Say “creators” or “people” when talking about your members as a group, instead of “ladies.”
Remember, being an LGBTQIA+ inclusive guild isn’t political; it’s just the right thing to do. If your guild truly exists to connect people and help them express themselves and grow, then get to it; bring in all the diversity because having many voices makes your guild stronger. Being LGBTQIA+ positive tells members of your guild that you value them as people, you respect who they are, and you side with them when so much of the world seeks to destroy them.
About the Author
Mathew Boudreaux, AKA Mister Domestic, is a social crafting powerhouse on a mission; to build an inclusive community that spreads love and joy through crafting. Although Mathew began sewing at a young age, his parents’ antiquated gender binary expectations discouraged him from fully expressing himself. But in 2013, after their daughter was born, Mathew’s spouse gifted him classes from “Modern Domestic” and it rekindled Mathew’s love of sewing and crafting. Soon Mathew was combining his love of crafting with his Portland State MBA and using the power of social media to create an inclusive brand all his own. Today Mathew is a fabric & pattern designer, sewing instructor, owner of the new online sewing school SEW U, an inspirational speaker, consultant, and global influencer with his TikTok, YouTube & Instagram each set to surpass over 100,000 subscribers this year.
For more about Mathew, visit: https://misterdomestic.com