Friday, October 24, 2008

Scattered Notes from the International Avant Garde

Whilst swiffering Phillip's apartment after afternoon in preparation for the birthday party last Saturday, I received a phone call from Rene Yanez, the curator of the Pasion Por Frida show at the SFMOMA. Total beshert!: He invited me to pose with him and his two other favorite Fridas at Guillermo Gomez Pena+ La Pocha Nostra's Performance Karaoke at SF Camerawork. For this project, Guillemero and crew hosted a series photo shoots where they invited important cultural figures (that would be Rene, not me - wah!) to take pictures that will be a part of a traveling photography exhibit as well as a published book. I was uncontrollably excited as, you will recall from previous posts, GGP has been on my mind quite a bit lately and now I was to participate in one of his projects!

I biked down to the studio space in SOMA on Tuesday and arrived a little late (the birds to my Frida costume kept spilling out of my bike basket - oy!). When I got to the stage/shoot area, there were already people wildly changing in and out of outrageous costumes and posing for photographer RJ Muna. Guillermo greeted me when I put down my bags. He is incredibly magnetic, which explains why there were twenty-odd people there drooling over his every move - and I too was smitten. I quickly changed into costume and did a series of portraits with Rene and the Fridas, then some of Violeta and me, and them some of just me with Guillermo (!).

I ended up sticking around to have a few drinks with the other participants. Eventually I got into a few more costume changes and posed for more portraits. I met some really kind, funny, wonderful people who are doing exactly what I am interested in doing: fun/silly/sexy performance art centered on radical political ideas. Drool. I will DEFINITELY be following up on those contacts.

After about four hours into the performances (!) Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens came by with their dog Bob for the last feature shoot of the night. The energy was really something (albeit a bit frisky for my Catholic sensibilities!) - and I feel lucky to have seen such a collaboration between GGP and AS.

I was reeling with wonderful emotions all the way to meet Ben and Roomie at Zeitgeist after the shoot. The weather was perfect and so was my experience. I am so happy thinking about it! I can't wait to see (and post) the pictures. TRIPLE DROOL.

Southern Belle in a gas mask; Violeta Luna with real pigs' feet

This woman is a performance artist and her real name is Lula

GGP with Annie Sprinkle

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