Speaking From the Diaphragm
The Vaginal Davis Blog
. . .From the Counsel of Inter-Continental Balistic Principalities
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
One surprise treat from viewing movies at the Berlinale this year was seeing Joe Dellasandro at the screening of the new documentary on him called “Little Joe”. Mr. Dellesandro use to be my neighbor when i lived in Los Feliz Village. He also attended NA meetings with Ron Athey in Silverlake. At the time Joe wasn´t doing drugs but had a relapse a short time afterward that i think continues to this day. Nevertheless Joe Dellesandro is an icon of male virility and especially male sexuality on the screen. He is the most buxom male ever photographed, with milk bottle nips that are beyond succulent. I wish the documentary was as scintillating as the subject, and its a shame with all those clips from his days as a teen porn puppy with AMG, Warhol and Italian b movies of the 70s. Little Joe can be hilariously funny and charming in person, but that quality doesn´t come out in this docu, and i can only fault the director. Usually i love documentaries with only one person talking, but somehow this one lacks a groove thing.
Soundless Wind Chime by Kit Hung has a lovely, poetic, meditative feel to it but the main story of a Chinese boy and his Swiss German lover mainly comes across as unappealing and dull. I was more interested in the women in the movie and wanted to know more about them, not the hapless homo romance. If the story is somewhat autobiographical in nature. The snow queen bourgeois Chinese director, and his Swiss boyfriend must be the most boring gay couple in the world. Bernhard Bulling
who plays the white skinhead lover reminds me of a young Moritz Bleibtreau, but in the scenes where his hair is long he registers as a blip on the screen.
I love Ulli Lommel, the star of many Fassbinder films, but his latest directorial effort Absolute Evil—what a horrible title! Is absolutely unwatchable. Bad acting, bad editing, bad makeup, bad lighting and bad sound. Even fitness model/concubine Rusty Joiner´s steroid muscles couldn´t help this lame duck thriller. Seeing Rusty in the film reminded me that i was the first queen to give him a blow job when he first came to Hollywood from Atlanta desperate for stardom. I guess he will now stick to topless bartending and appearing in the work out section of Men´s Fitness in between tending to the personal anal workout sessions of that mag´s fag publisher Jann Wenner.
I loved Catherine Breillat´s Blue Beard, and the Irish TV teen filmish drama Cherrybomb directed by Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros d´Sa that features sexy, young pale skinned ginger Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter films and a dark haired boy named Robert Sheehan who is going to be the new Colin Firth.
Francois Ozon´s flight of fancy film “Ricky” about a flying baby unexpectedly delighted me. This was mainly because of the subdued performances by Alexandra Lamy and handsome barrel chested Sergi Lopez.
I got to see more movies this year then the last two years i participated in the Berlinale with the CHEAP Gossip Studio.
My Forum Expanded performance “Babylonia Gorgon Babble On” was well received. I had a large, yet intimate group of around 20 people that included Jim Hubbard of the Mix Festival, Scott Berry of New Images, Kirsten from Outfest, Anna Multer, Senol Senturk, cute Danish actor Cyron Melville and a hunky Finlander named Samuli Vauramo among other notables. Didnt get a chance to see the film “Eccentricities of a Blond Haired Girl” by the 100 year old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, but did see the Sensory Spaces #1 program of Forum Expanded that featured Milena Gierke´s “Toads”, Isabelle Spengler´s gorgeous “Lint Lent Land”, the lovely Triangulum directed by sexy Brazillian couple Gustave Jahn & Melissa Dullius that also starred the pair with cinematographer Michel Balague´ and the masterful performative film event of Wilhelm Hein “Material Film Performance on 35 mm Cinemascope” that featured the music of Tim& kJohnny Blue that was riveting.
.: posted by Vaginal Davis 5:25 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
CHICAS DE HOY
Second day in Madrid for the Arco Art Fair. They have put me up in the ultra homomodern 5 star hotel Puerta America. Every floor of this joint is designed by a different architect. I am on the fourth floor designed by Eva Castro and Holger Kehne. It looks like the set from the post nuclear winter Robert Altman film Quintet that starred Paul Newman in the 1970s. If it wasn't for my assistant The Love Camel aka: Andrea Novarin i wouldn't have been able to turn on the TV or lights as everything is automatic. Of course all this technology is more trouble then its worth. At least there is a free breakfast that is amazing! The Arco Madrid Hospitality staff are very nice and accomodating.
The Camel and I walked around in the first afternoon and its lovely to be away from cold, brittle Berlin. The weather has been incredible-- cloudless with bright warm sun, around 60 degrees fahrenheit. Madrid has some ugly modern buildings that remind me of the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA. Its not what i expected, but since it is my first time in Spain i am thoroughly stoked. Lots of boy eye candy. Pale skinned dark haired men with strong, striking features and nalgas fresca. Professor Dr. Jose Esteban Munoz,the Performance Studies Director of the Tisch School of the Arts of NYU is the curator of my section of the Art Experts Forum. Jose and his vivacious companion John-John treat me to drinks in the overpriced hotel bar, and later a sweet dinner at a local grandma restaurant where I wolfed down a salty entrecote steak. Performing in the art pavillion is problematic. Arco is quite the commercial environment. I felt like i was at the convention center in Los Angeles for a super duper high school science fair. Their was quite an eager crowd coming into our circular tent, but lots of distractions. Dr. Munoz and co-facilitator the dapper noted queer theorist Dr. Jack Halberstam are true pros. Both Dr. Munoz and Dr. Jack worked around every difficulty presented by the surroundings. The theme of our Art Expert series was the economics of failure. Jose showed video and slides and talked about performance collective My Barbarian and Nao Bustamente who would also give a presentation. Jose was in fine form, and charmed the audience with his biting humor and intellectual chopsticks. His tag team partner Dr. Jack riveted the crowd with a timely tome on the Aesthetics of Failure. Dr. Jack is quite an engaging presence, a masterful speaker who exhibits great authority and power, and is incredibly love-sexy. All the femme tops in the audience were creaming, and hanging on to every word. My pussy left a huge puddle on the floor for Dr. Jack, who has a gorgeous goddess of a girlfriend who is as stunning as the young Ava Gardner,and quite dear. It was great hanging out with them and their posse that included Spanish performance artist Esther Ferrer. Also part of the Art Experts forum was the famed choreographer and dancer La Ribot and vivacious Abina Manning who use to curate for the ICA in London, but now lives and works out of Chicago. Had a great time hanging out with Abina and that sweet lady from Toronto who heads V-Tape Film Distribution Company,Wanda Vanderstoop.
Part of Dr. Jack's discourse presented some notes on failure from Walter Benjamin, Jamaica Kincaid and a lovely quote from the late Quentin Crisp, "If at first you don't succeed. Failure may be your style." Dr. Jack really stimulates and you learn so much from her, as she catalogues artists who document failure and awkwardness like Tracy Moffat, Yoko Ono, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Cabello/Carveller.*
Nao Bustamente showed some examples of her famous signature work on video. I love Nao's combination of vulnerability and boldness. She showed a guerilla piece where she infiltrated a chat show hosted by Joan Rivers in the early 1990s. Her makeup, demeanor and glazed expression on her face in this clip is classic Nao, and shows why she is a live art great.
Also in my section was the famed British scholar Adrian Heathfield professor of performance and visual culture at Roe Hampton University, and the beautiful experimental curator Lia Gangitano of NYC's edgy Participant Inc.
I closed the section with a performative lecturina "Flesh for LuLu-Taking the High Road to Sexual Failure" I didn't realize how exhausted i was from the Berlinale and other projects. My energy level was nil, and i really emphasized the failure theme literally. My pacing was very off, and not getting a proper tech or dress rehearsal emphasized that fact. Also i don't like to do performances without having a make-up artist. I was happy with the way my new DeRohan Chabot film series was received,and showing a section of the late 70s Spanish film Navajeros starring Isela Vega and Veronica Castro went over well. In all i was glad my performance was an utter failure---thats the way love goes.
This year at the Berlinale my art collektive CHEAP was not as visible as we were the last two years with the CHEAP Gossip Studio. B books took over the bar that we had built and renamed it The Ennis Del pub after one of the characters in Brokeback Mountain. Overseeing the bar for ten days is hard work, and something i wasn't missing but doing a four hour long performative guided tour of the Galleries that were part of Forum Expanded was equally draining. It wasn't really a tour in the literal sense, as i didn't provide much information about the work or the artists in Forum Expanded. I basically presented myself as an art object, and tried to encourage intimacy with the participants on our bus ride and in the spaces we visited. It really worked, and thank god my assistant Nadja Talmi was there. She is a powerful force, and very calm and in control with a serenity that is magical. At the Halle 14A Gallery which was curated by Marc Siegel, i did an interpretive dance, which highlighted the fact that the artist Ludvig Schonherr's wife and muse Trixie was once a prima ballerina. At the Peter Wilde Gallery i sang a tiny aria, and gossiped with Mr. Wilde and his assistant, and at the lovely Bohdi Berlin, the beautiful gallerist gave an gorgeous extemporaneous lecture that riveted everyone. I loved how the Wilde Gallery and Bohdi exhibited the work in a non tradition way, and especially with the subdued lighting. There is nothing worse then bright halogen gallery lights. Its just not flattering. The brightness worked at Halle because the mounting of the work was so non-tradition. In fact the way everything was displayed reminded me of my home gallery from the 1980s the famous Hag-Small, Contemporary, Haggard.
I am still tired from last nights performance, so i will have to write more about the Berlinale, the galleries that were part of Forum Expanded and the movies when i return to Berlin and have my notes in front of me. I don't want to write anything more from my bad Alzheimic memory.
For some reason today i started to think about Lorenzo Lamas. Lamas is the son of MGM stars Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl. I met Lorenzo in the late 70s when he was working at a paint store in Santa Monica. His parents didn't want him to be a typical Hollywood brat so he had to have a job as a teen. He was so sweet and unspoiled then, flirting with me in a casual bemused manner as he mixed the paints i needed to redo my mothers apartment. My colleague Nancy Shimpo from the job i had at the time working as a clerk typist at Equifax Insurance Investigating firm knew Lorenzo Lamas. Of course later he had a small supporting role as a ginger haired jock in the movie Grease, then went on to TV fame destruction in Falcon Crest along with the predictable ill-fated marriages to an assortment of Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds.
.: posted by Vaginal Davis 5:40 AM