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VAGINAL CREME DAVIS
in an original Performative Lecture/Oratorio

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Department of Performance Studies
Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

vaginaldavis.com
performance.tisch.nyu.edu/page/news.html
brucelabruce.com

We extend our thanks to Vaginal Davis and to Aliza Schvarts and Prof. José Muñoz of the Tisch Dept. of Performance Studies for their assistance in the making of this event and our recording.

Audio recordings by Steven Koenig.
©(p)Vaginal Davis and Steven Koenig.

Introduction by Steve Koenig

It was that odd time for gay kids, caught between disco and punk. One never imagined that it would become a staple of weddings and bar mitzvahs, nor that punk style would be appropriated for sale at Macy's and Bloomingdale's, as Vaginal Davis alludes to in the final Q&A.

Pocketed between the then-plentiful independent record stores in the East Village were small bookshops where one could get publications anarchist and or queer, punk and or de mode. Homozines such as Larry-Bob's Holy Titclamps! (now online at holytitclamps.com) featured interviews with queer writers and musical groups such as Pansy Division, and, as important, listings of other homocore magazines and DIY artifacts and organizations.

It was there where I first discovered an ad for a series of VHS tapes by Vaginal Creme Davis, in her guise as Fertile Latoyah Jackson, and tucked my hidden dollar bills in an envelop and off it went to L.A. I loved her thumb-in-your-face attitude and absolute camp tackiness. Sloppy though much of it was, both in cam quality and content (although no worse than most of the now-standard online post-your-own videos, making use of what she calls "availablism," the do-it-yourself aesthetic), it was ours and it was out there. To this day I cherish the fierce cover photo from Thing magazine hanging on my wall, her face snarling and beautiful and laughing and not.


When I got an email about a performance/lecture at NYU, I jumped at the chance to meet Ms. Davis for the first time. I arrived GPT, natch, but missed only the first paragraph or so and my trusty recorder gathered the rest, posted here for you. The depth and breadth of this mosaic discourse about all things Black, queer, punk, art and sociopolitical is headspinning. Thank you, Vaginal Davis!

        *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS THE BLACK FREAK?

Berlin vs. LA, healthcare and eleventuplets, Black queer birthing, burgeoning blaxploitation and punk scene, Romantic squalor, trespass cinema scene, anti-corporate culture, and what is Black freakiness?


©1996 Marc Thorman. Dr. Vaginal Davis in "Natural Born Shrimper."

THE WHITE TO BE ANGRY

Snow queens, dinge queens, seducing racist police officers, Moesha, Los Angeles race riots, Michael Jackson, repeat after me: Mandingo.


MANDINGO

Dino De Laurentiis, freedom from slavery via sex work, the dangerous and the desirable, the local yokel slave market, Perry King, Rudy Ray Moore, and butt babies.


PETEY WHEATSTRAW

Freaks and Snoop Dogg, Rudy Ray Moore's Dolomite, D. W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation, mutual influences of Black, feminist and gay cultures, namesake Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and the whimsy of the freak.


TURNING MICHAEL JACKSON WHITE

The religious freak, the Carter Family and Ethel Waters, and the itinerant preacherwoman the Right Reverend Saint Theresa Tate.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Cinema, Bruce LaBruce, NYU kids, Orifice Descending, girl male prostitutes, kai kai, barricuda femme tops and buttery butch bottoms, German penises, Pee On Me, The Dominettes, burlesque boys, and Vaginal Davis sings.


VAGINAL DAVIS' SHOUT-OUT TO ACOUSTIC LEVITATION


from the collection of Marc Thorman

          *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *


Lagniappe: MY WATER BROKE!
Soundtrack from That Fertile Feeling by Fertile Latoyah Jackson.


©1996 Marc Thorman. Vaginal Davis at the Jackie60 party at Mother.

 



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