Next Generation curated by Yuna Baek is a group exhibition featuring works by artists exploring the future of Asian American art in a digital age of flexible and hybrid cultural identity asking, “What is the face of the next generation of Asian American artists? It might as well be an avatar, as the globalizing force of the Internet continues to build a cultural landscape that transcends location, ethnicity, gender, and language. The next generation of artists can log into any culture with a click of a mouse, and their personal identities (be it singular or multiple) are shaped by the limitless possibilities of the web. They build bridges between different cultures and communities, creating flexible and hybrid identities that define the Next Generation. “
Featuring Kalani Largusa, Wang Frank Yefeng, Eunie Kim, Cathy Kim, Snow Yunxue Fu, Hiba Ali, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Sua Yoo, Heelim Hwang, Arjuna Capulong, and Greyson Hong.
If you’re in the Chicago area, come by the opening reception this Friday!
TONIGHT!!! QUEERGASM, at Northwestern University.
Performances by Rebecca Kling, Kiam Marcelo Junio/Jerry Blossom, Keijaun Thomas, Dirty Grits, Amanda Stefanski, and Ejaz Ali & Oeshik Chowdhury.
I’ll be performing my durational piece, “Sewing Station” during the social hour, and “AmeriKararoke” to open the show.
Don’t miss this if you’re in Chicago or Evanston!
TONIGHT! I will be reading journal excerpts from my first year in the US Navy as a gay man during Don’t Ask Don’t Tell - Including a play by play of how I lost my V-card with a fellow sailor. Come enjoy the show!
Making Out with Wes Perry and Friends
Wednesday February 20th at 8pm
The Upstairs Gallery in Andersonville
5219 N Clark St
FREE and BYOB! ($5 suggested donation)
December 22, 2010
Today, more than any other day,
I am proud to be serving in the US Armed Forces.
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero
(3/10 from my next-to-last box of last stock TZ film)
Heading off to Milwaukee on Thursday to participate in the Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference. I’ll be screening (and interruptively performing) my video piece, Kapag Tumibok ang Puso (Nostalgia).
The conference topic is Failure, and the guest keynote speaker is the celebrated queer theorist J. Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure.
If you’re in Milwaukee, hit me up! Let’s hang out and talk about art and social justice, and do each other’s nails.
It’s on Facebook, so it’s official now.
The Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant Winner:
Kiam Marcelo Junio is a multidisciplinary artist living in Chicago, IL. He works in multiple media including photography, video, printmaking, installation, burlesque, and performance art. His research and art work centers around queer identities, the Filipino American diaspora, and post-colonialist Asian American tropes and stereotypes, and military and civilian power dynamics.
Jerry Blossom is Kiam’s alter-ego, a genderqueer Filipino male bodied femme-presenting persona, obsessed with assimilating into Western culture and beauty standards.
Kiam served seven years in the US Navy. He was born in the Philippines and has lived in the US, Japan, and Spain. He is also a registered Yoga teacher.
Congratulations also to the Critical Fierceness Grantees, Rami George and Betsy Odom!
Come join us this Saturday at Chances at the Hideout to celebrate!
The Hideout Inn, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago
**THIS SATURDAY NIGHT THE MARK AGUHAR MEMORIAL GRANT AND CRITICAL FIERCENESS GRANT WINNERS FOR WINTER 2012 WILL BE ANNOUNCED**
HOSTED BY VAJAQUEQUE BROWN
FEATURING DJS SWAGUERILLA AND LADY MISS NAVY PIER
*DOORS FOR CHANCES AT MIDNIGHT*
On Diversity in Media Representations, the Chicago Queer Performance Scene, Tonight’s LEX-I-CA, and Why I Think We Do What We Do.
Did you know that Toni Braxton played Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway in 1998? Why does this now seem like a strange and wonderful dream?
The diversity in the entertainment industry in the 1990’s was truly promising. I remember many TV shows about colored people, friends, and families - Living Single, Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bell Air, In the House, Martin, House of Buggin’, Malcolm & Eddie, The Hughleys, All American Girl, The Single Guy, Sister Sister, Smart Guy, Moesha, the Parkers, and so many others, like that amazing multicultural Cinderella TV movie with Brandy, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters, and Paolo Montalban (a Filipino actor) as Prince Charming.
As a child of the 90’s, and coming right from the Philippines, it seemed to me that people of color were quickly breaking down barriers, that the stage was being set for people like me to dream big and achieve those dreams, to see ourselves in flashing lights, to experience that overdue equality. But something happened on the way to the 2010’s during which those barriers built right back up without our noticing. I think this happened around 9/11 and the terrorism hysteria, after which anything outside of the typical suburban, white nuclear family became threatening. This is the frame of mind that we have been in for the past decade, but I think and hope that things are finally beginning to change again.
In the queer Chicago scene, a lot of performers are young people of color (many of whom grew up in the 90’s watching these shows, listening to the music and absorbing a more diverse art and pop culture). A friend asked me recently why I think this is, and why now. I believe we’ve gotten tired of waiting for representation in mass media. The promise of the 90’s told us that we can be anything we want to be. When we stopped seeing, or fell short of seeing, our selves reflected on screen, we began to voice our dissatisfactions and take matters into our own hands. We are now in the process of creating our own micro-media, our own platforms.
Which is why social justice blogs are so important right now. This is a movement of people of various races, gender presentations, and identities, who are creating our own representation, because the larger society has failed on its promise. And this is also why, more than ever, is it important, not to police, but to see how we are being represented, and by whom. This is also why so much light is being shed on cultural appropriation. Why we are saying, STOP STEALING OUR CULTURE. We are taking back our stories, we want to tell it ourselves. We want our voice.
Tonight’s Salonathon presents: LEX-I-CA is a manifestation of this. Looking at the line-up of my fellow performers, I see the beautiful faces of the talented beings who are ready to speak, to sing, to dance, to tell it like it is. Who analyze how gendered and racialized bodies are gazed upon, and what fantasies of exotification and other-ness still apply and need deconstructing. We need this time. We need this space to speak. Despite the oppressions we’ve faced and continue to face, having a voice is very much worth celebrating.
See you all tonight.
Kiam Marcelo Junio / Jerry Blossom
Kiam Marcelo Junio
Untitled (Long Distance Lovers)
Kiam Marcelo Junio, 2012
“I don’t know why humans are obsessed with grids and squares and straight lines,” my roommate comments from the living room. I am in the kitchen, making vegetable stir fry, cutting tofu cubes into smaller cubes.
“Nothing in nature is like that.”
“Maybe we’re aliens,” I reply. “It could explain why we think we have dominion over the earth. We always want order, but really, we just destroy everything.”
I toss the tofu cubes into the oil and they sizzle in the heat, slowly, surely, turning a nice golden brown. I think about how the soy particles coagulated to form these masses which I will gnash between my teeth, break apart in my body, and expel.
I wonder to myself if creation and destruction are human impulses. Have we only characterized aliens as monsters? Or are we the monsters ourselves? As a species, we’ve managed to royally fuck up this planet to near disrepair.
My roommate and I are really hoping for the apocalypse this year. Fingers crossed.
Let me tell you a story I heard repeatedly as a kid in the Philippines. Sometimes, no joke, I would hear this in church.
God was making man from clay. He fashioned a figure, placed it in the celestial oven, but took it out too soon. And so it became a white man.
He fashioned another figure and put it in the oven, but forgot about it, till it was dark and toasty. Thus it became a black man.
Then he carefully sculpted another and placed it in the oven, this time watching closely, waiting attentively, until his creation was perfectly baked. He took it out, and
Oy! Ang galing talaga! It’s a Filipino man.
“In order for there to be m
t from above to
there has to be a c a p i l l a r i t y
e at the same time.”
Last year in Costa Rica, I was volunteering at a farm with my sister.
We built benches and walls out of dirt, clay, dried grass, and cow shit.
Here’s a video of it: http://youtu.be/ULRDV7mfWX0
a most human contradiction
with the ability to exert
a propensity to control
a living history
unstable and perpetually changing
in a constant state of becoming
eyeless and voiceless
almost living beings
with a peculiar sense of independence
to leap from the ashes
a vigorous free spirit
forever set and doused
but not everlasting
My hands, small I know, but they’re not yours, they are my own
But they’re not yours, they are my own and
I am never broken
When it’s all over, what vestiges we would have left behind!
Freeways, skyscrapers, underground railroads,
Bathhouses, coliseums, shopping malls, and so much goddamn plastic!
They will study our majesty for millennia to come.
The Grid Book, Annah B. Higgins, “Introduction” and “Chapter 1: Bricks”
Marina Abramovic - Art Must Be Beautiful (1975)
Kiam Marcelo Junio - Art Must Be Beautiful (Study), After Abramovic (2012)
Tonight, Kiam Marcelo Junio / Jerry Blossom will be re-performing Abramovic’s durational piece at Salonathon Presents: LEX-IC-A. In an effort to re-contextualize the celebrated artist’s feminist critique of the art institution and update it with current discourse around race, gender, and queer theory.
During the early and mid-1970s, Marina performed a series of works in which she “explored passive aggression, constructing the actions around her rather spectacular body.” She notes that Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful is one example of how, in the early years of performance art, female artists used their own bodies to challenge the institution of art and the notion of beauty. Marina has said in an interview that during the 1970s, “if the woman artist would apply make-up or put [on] nail polish, she would not have been considered serious enough.” Through this performance, says Stokić, Marina comments on “the commodification of art and artist by critiquing conventions of and demands for female beauty in art and contemporary culture.”
KIAM MARCELO JUNIO
Reflection plays a key role for the works in this collection - both the intimate act of looking within one’s internalized history, and the physical act of seeing one’s presence on a mirrored surface. In this transmutation of lightwaves, how much is transferred? How much is lost?
Latent Confrontations brings the viewer to various thresholds between personal and public, between nostalgia and obsession, between the addressor and the addressed.