IAMKIAM.COM - brand new site for the brand new year, updated with current works.
Check it out, y’all!
I’ve been working on this for the past couple days, and it’s finally ready. My old homepage was beginning to feel too cluttered and unorganized. So, ready for the new year, here is a brand-spaniking new IAMKIAM.com.
Enjoy, and comments are always appreciated.
<3 U ALL. Happy New Year!
Art is a circle jerk.
Which is fun. And I’m in it, and I enjoy the fact that I both benefit and take from it. And to many it may seem frivolous and in excess, that there are more important things to do than make art, or to keep with the metaphor, better and more productive ways to have sex.
People often criticize artists for creating work that only other artists understand (circle jerk), producing products for the consumption of the circles that support the institution, completely removed from the rest of society. In many senses, it’s correct. One must be invited to a circle jerk, or an event with a circle jerk. One does not normally meet a group at a bar and decide, “hey, you know what would be fun, we should have a circle jerk.” There normally involves planning, and selecting which friends will be participating. So circle jerks are often elite institutions, but this does not preclude that it is the only way for them to happen. Art, after all, is not made in a vacuum. People’s personal “real world” experiences and tastes will always influence their art, and therefore, the circle jerk. The world that exists outside of art, and the people outside of the circle jerk, will still see, influence, and benefit from the event.
Circle jerks, and therefore, art, are important means of communication, and provide a vital role creation of cultural capital. Circle jerks negotiate boundaries between parties, seeking to provide equal voices and honor one another’s presence through the giving and receiving of pleasure, or in the art sense, the provision of pleasure to the viewer, on whom the artist depends for survival. Whether for simply aesthetic, or profound purposes pertinent to the human condition, art, and therefore, circle jerks, are essential developments in the human experience.
Actions for an Asian Immigrant
performance, 45 min. duration
Kiam Marcelo Junio, 2012
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.”
A fantastic essay about David Torrey Peters (from Chicago), about one person’s experience with the fluidity of gender performance.
I don’t think that I’m a woman. I just think that parts of my psyche are female, resulting in a deep-seated need to act that out. For me, crossdressing isn’t something I do; it’s something that I am. I shift the presentation of my body to match what seems to be a constantly shifting gender.
Jeff Sheng’s ‘Fearless’ Project Features Intimate Portraits Of High School And Collegiate LGBT Athletes
In 2003, the year after Jeff Sheng graduated from college, he began working on a project photographing and interviewing high school and collegiate athletes across the United States who openly self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), but continued to play sports on their predominantly “straight” school sports teams.
The series, which he titled “Fearless,” features individuals immediately after an intense workout or practice, in a location of their choice where they feel most comfortable as an athlete. Sheng chose to exhibit his work in locations such as student centers, college gyms, dining facilities and dormitory common areas to force an otherwise non-art-going public to see the images and consider the issues being presented.
Where do I even start? I am so sick of fucking binaries and expectations on how people are supposed to act, based on their genitals.
UGH. White heterosexual males/frat bros
Advertisers just love to continue perpetuating this image, and so people think it’s ok, and even desirable to act like a buffoon. “BOOM!” Wow. Gag.
How the hell is it still OK for Hooters to do shit like this? Granted, I’m pro-sex workers rights, and people’s ability to do with their bodies as they please, so the problem here is not the individuals but rather the system that perpetuates these attitudes about women, and in turn, about men, and furthermore, everyone else who doesn’t fit into these disgusting and false images.
UGH. Body-shaming and Ageism
Why are certain bodies inherently bad? Why is it wrong to gain cellulite, or grow old? Fuck you, Hooters.
Why is Hooters still in business?
Okay, I know it’s like the most obvious uptight-feminist cliche ever, but god, I hate Hooters. I fucking hate Hooters so much. Mainly because I like to eat things that actually taste good, and also because I dislike being reminded that a lot of people’s ideal woman is a pliant sex mannequin who delivers fried foods…
From commenter I Still Dream:
Good god no (and I will never go to Hooters as long as I live). While the *goal* of misogynist, patriarchal media is of course to demonize and commodity women, it also has some fairly ugly things to say about men—at least all men who don’t fit into their convenient little box. If you’re a man who’s an intellectual, or an artist, or you do theater, or you like to cook, you’re denigrated for being feminine. If you’re shy, or contemplative, or dare to express the slightest feeling of vulnerability or tenderness, then you’re denigrated for being a “pansy.” If you’re not interested in accumulating wealth then you’re a loser, and if you’re more interested in getting to know women than getting them drunk, you’re an emasculated prude. The MRA’s are psychos, but we DO need a men’s liberation in this country—a liberation from the patriarchal culture that teaches boys that being anything but a grunting, sexually aggressive predator is unacceptable.
Every Monday, artists of all types descend upon Beauty Bar to bring to life works that defy traditional genres, from dance pieces crafted in basements to puppet shows put together in attics to stories written on the CTA to the side projects of local legends. Conceived and curated by Jane Beachy, SALONATHON strives to support the creation of new, emerging and underground art in Chicago and beyond.
Kiam Marcelo Junio is a multimedia artist working in photography, video, sculpture, and performance art. Kiam served seven years in the US Navy and a registered Yoga teacher. He is currently studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kiam was born in the Philippines and has lived in the US, Japan, and Spain. He speaks English, Tagalog, and Spanish.
BLESSED ARE THE BOI DYKES
BLESSED ARE THE PEOPLE OF COLOR MY BELOVED KITH AND KIN
BLESSED ARE THE TRANS
BLESSED ARE THE HIGH FEMMES
BLESSED ARE THE SEX WORKERS
BLESSED ARE THE AUTHENTIC
BLESSED ARE THE DIS-IDENTIFIERS
BLESSED ARE THE GENDER ILLUSIONISTS
BLESSED ARE THE NON-NORMATIVE
BLESSED ARE THE GENDERQUEERS
BLESSED ARE THE KINKSTERS
BLESSED ARE THE DISABLED
BLESSED ARE THE HOT FAT GIRLS
BLESSED ARE THE WEIRDO-QUEERS
BLESSED IS THE SPECTRUM
BLESSED IS CONSENT
BLESSED IS RESPECT
BLESSED ARE THE BELOVED WHO I DIDN’T DESCRIBE, I COULDN’T DESCRIBE, WILL LEARN TO DESCRIBE AND RESPECT AND LOVE
Who is Mister Junior?
An Artist Profile by Kiam Marcelo Junio
Mister Junior (née Alberto Ramón Gutierrez) is a burlesque performer from New Mexico and currently in Chicago, who dances and strips his way into your heart. He is of mixed nationalities, bridging his Mexican heritage and American upbringing. He is in the company of Vaudezilla Burlesque and Productions, (named by Chicago Reader as “Best Burlesque 2011”).
What makes Mister Junior unique from any other male burlesque (often called “boylesque”) performer is his use of the art of burlesque to address larger conflicts. On the stage, his presence is commanding, eliciting cheers of excitement to see him remove the next garment. But it goes beyond this. Each of his acts seeks to question societal expectations of race and gender normativity and performance. He playfully adapts Hispanic stereotypes such as the Lover, the Bull/Bullfighter, and the expectations for a male body and subverts them before your eyes.
The second wave of feminism in the mid to late 20th century brought female empowerment into the social consciousness, asserting that women and men, though inherently different, should be treated as equals - that the woman’s place is not just behind the man, as a secretary, or housewife. That women have as much political, social, and sexual agency as men.
Today’s critical discourse surrounding gender and sexuality is no longer concerned with the binary distinction of male/female, but rather the blurring of these boundaries. Gender (a socially performed aspect of personality) is inherently different from sexuality (sexual attraction), and between these two tenets are infinite combinations.
Going to a burlesque show brings all of these issues into focus. On the stage, the performers take charge of their bodies, stripping garments to their own pace and desire to reveal their bodies, not as vulnerable submissions for public consumption, but rather as active assertions of power. Yes, these are breasts, and they are mine. Yes, these are curves, see what I can do with them? Yes, here is a male body, watch me fuck with your expectations.
Beyond the spectacle, Mister Junior uses the art of burlesque as a platform for addressing these social issues. How are Latinos stereotyped in the media? What is the difference between a man and a beast? Do puppets have agency? What makes a man, a woman, beautiful or sexy - can one use tools from the other, and still be as such?
Burlesque (which derives from the root “burla” or joke) is part parody, part caricature, part satire, in the format of a striptease. It began as an art form in the Victorian era, as an alternative to theater. In the 1860’s to the 1940’s, it gained popularity in cabarets, clubs, as well as theaters with its mix of comedy, dance, and striptease. The art remains true today in its current format, usually as a variety show, in which singers, comedians, magicians, and other entertainment acts punctuate the shows between stripteases.
If you’ve never been to a Burlesque show (and watching the Christina Aguilera movie does NOT count), I highly suggest going. If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Mister Junior and Vaudezilla.com for upcoming shows.
NEW WORK on my website, including performer portraits and cheeky male nudes!
If you haven’t seen my website yet, you should check it out.
If you are an actor, musician, band, performer, artist, or model in the Chicago area who needs portraits, headshots, test shots, or just a fancy Facebook profile photo, contact me!
Good looking people get paid more, do less jail time and have more sex than ugly people, and beautiful people get all that but even more so, and if you try to say ugly people don’t exist because ‘everyone is beautiful’ I’d ask you to take it up with Sartre (were he not dead), who not only believed in ugliness as a definite trait but attributed much of his philosophy to his own lazy-eyed, freakshow face and near midget status yet still managed to date feminist icon and all-around social theory genius (and sometime lesbian pedophile) Simone de Beauvoir for years and years and years, not to mention blow minds on the daily, even now, 30 odd years after his death.
There are worse things in the world than being ugly, and most of the great minds of every generation got their thinking and writing done because they weren’t beautiful enough to waste their nights having meaningless sex with other gorgeous layabouts. Very few, if any, renowned scientists or philosophers were beautiful.
All people are somewhat interesting, and most of us have rich and varied intellectual lives or great stores of compassion or other attributes that, once discovered, can make us very wonderful and occasionally beautiful to those who know us, but some people are just plain beautiful, physically, in the fucking face, and that is neither a good nor a bad thing (although studies show it’s usually good for them). It’s just a fact.
(More to read when you click the link above)
I’ve been having this conversation with someone recently, and it’s gotten me thinking about what it means to be beautiful, attractive, or ugly. We can all say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and perhaps this is true in the deepest, truest extent. But here’s my theory, which I was explaining to a friend last night:
We create our own worlds, and we create this one too. Our minds and selves are universes trapped in physical form. Where does a thought go when you forget it, but somewhere in the wide black space of your own existence?
But we have also all corroborated on creating this physical manifestation of a world we live in. The rules of physics exist because someone thought it, and we have all since agreed upon its reality. This goes for everything, even beauty. There are standards of beauty, which may change from generation to generation, but the concept of it remains the same. And it is why, as linked text mentions, beautiful people receive more privilege. They fit certain standards to which we ourselves have subscribed.
So what happens when you don’t fit these standards of beauty? I would consider myself a fine example for this. I’m short, bald, and I am not an owner of six-pack abs. I do not fit the criteria for what the Western world considers as objectively beautiful - and here we can also agree that different cultures have different standards as well. But in this increasingly globalized world, the Western standards seem to be winning out. However, I’ve learned to love myself regardless. I’ve learned to cultivate other qualities that make me a good, interesting, and perhaps somewhat attractive person.
Something that used to frustrate me as a gay man is how shallow of a culture “the Gays” seem. It always comes down to looks and to another degree, race. Years ago, while browsing through Craigslist personals, or on Adam4Adam, I would lose count of how many times I would read “no fems, fatties or Asians” or something to that degree. Do you know how demoralizing that is? Of course you can brush it away and simply say, “Wow, what an asshole.” But it doesn’t erase the fact of its existence. To be told that you are unwanted cuts to deep degrees, and makes you question yourself, no matter how much you’ve built yourself up. The ego will take a fall.
So is there a solution to this? Depends on what the problem is. For me, the issue was that I felt like a powerful, beautiful, interesting person inside, only limited by this body I was born in. What I’ve done is try to stay true to myself, find people who are willing to corroborate with me in creating a world in which our inner selves speak more to our beauty as humans than how we fit certain criteria, forced upon us by the masses, and to which we, as I’ve mentioned, have subscribed, as well. Unsubscribe! Write your own standards of beauty. Live your own reality. When you can believe in your own truth, it translates to how you operate in the larger sphere, and people take notice. I’m living this philosophy daily.