Posts Tagged ‘Fringe! Film Festival’

SUPERM

American artist Brian Kenny and Russian author Slava Mogutin met on a New York dancefloor and have been together making art under the moniker SUPERM for just over a decade. They join us here at Dalston Superstore next Wednesday to mark the opening of the Fringe! Film Festival with a night of music, body-painting, photography and more. Then on Saturday Fringe will be screening SUPERM 10, a series of short films featuring their recent collaborations with Gio Black Peter, Vaginal Davis, François Sagat, Matthieu Charneau, and Gilbert & George. Ahead of both these events we caught up with the couple to talk art, politics, secrets and more…

Let’s go in deep- what for you is the most pressing global political issue we’re currently facing?

Brian: The issue of freedom. The freedom for Russians to be openly gay, the freedom for Americans and Europeans to keep their private information private. The freedom for gay people to live openly and marry. The freedom for women in the Middle East and India to use their own voices and create their own lives. 

Slava: Religious fundamentalism is the root of all evil in the modern world—whether it’s Muslim fanatics, Christian fundamentalist or Orthodox Jews—hate and homophobia unites them all. My father, a former Communist-atheist, is a born-again Christian and he thinks of me as the biggest failure of his life, “the bleeding wound than never heels.” He publicly condemned my work as “anal filth” and I’ll take it as a compliment from a chauvinistic homophobic pig like him! 

You’ve been together for 10 years—congrats! How has the dynamic changed in that time? You do seem to come across- both professionally and personally- as two different sides of the same coin- separate but whole…

Brian: We’re like a two-headed monster at this point!

Slava: We’re like a snake that eats its own tail, like a giant ever-hungry tapeworm that lives in my belly. We’re like Acephale, the headless warrior tattooed on my right thigh. We’re free like winds, proud and strong like Centaurs. We’re like S & M, like SU & PERM. We’re like Gilbert & George, Pierre & Gilles and Siegfried & Roy combined, so come to our Magic Box!

Slava & Brian

Photo by Alex La Cruz

What are you looking for in a body-paint-participant for your party here?

Brian: We’re looking for in-shape guys, transgender men and women, and girls who don’t mind being in their underwear while doing body painting and drawing on each other.

Slava: Cool London queer kids who are comfortable with their bodies and sexuality and have something to offer besides their good looks. We already got lots of submissions after posting our casting call and about to start our selection procedures. 6 lucky participants will perform with us at Dalston Superstore on November 5th.

What is your favourite piece of work by the other?

Brian: My current favorite is Slava’s new book, Food Chain. It’s an achingly beautiful and intense book of his poetry and collage. Most people in the West don’t know about Slava’s literary past. His works of poetry and unapologetic journalism won him Russia’s highest literary prize, and forced him out of Russia. Food Chain is a rare and amazing chance to see why I think Slava has one of the most beautiful and challenging minds I’ve ever met.

Slava: Brian’s new works on fabric made of his old “wigger” antiques. When we first met he used to wear durags, basketball shirts and XXL jerseys, but lately his style has changed dramatically and this new series helps him to utilize his old personal gear while discovering his feminine self through sewing and stitching. He calls it “bitch ‘n’ stitch.”

Slava & Brian

Photo by Donatien Veismann

If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

Slava: I’d probably go to the past – the cabarets of the Weimer Berlin or the dance floor of Studio 54. My best clubbing experience of recent years is undoubtedly Berlin’s Berghain, the best club I’ve ever been to.

Brian: I’d definitely go to the future. I see myself dancing at a place called SUPERMDOME. A giant dome arena, the dome itself is all live VJ-ed video screens and the entire floor a 3D hologram projection stage. The cool aspect of this Dome is that special sensors and monitor placed around the club 3D map the movements of everything inside, especially dynamic movement like dancing. Super computers analyze all this movement live and simultaneously produce corresponding holograms that “decorate” the movement. The effect would be nothing short of magic. For instance, if you throw your hands up, 3D holograms of sparks with fly out from the location of your fingertips. Clapping produces light bubbles, walking induces a blue afterglow, etc. SUPERMDOME can even be programmed to produce certain special holograms to specific gestures. As dancers learn these gestures, they can begin to perform a custom flourish of 3D holograms, and even compete for the title of Grand Master Holo-dancer.

Slava and Brian in the Future

You’re both from diverse backgrounds, in terms of you Brian being born on a military base and travelling a lot as a child, and you Slava being the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the US for homophobic persecution. How does this diversity reflect in both your solo work and your collaborative work?

Slava: We’re indeed very different both personally and artistically. When we collaborate, we thrive on each other’s differences and our combined talents complement each other in a very convenient and organic way. For example, when we do collage work, Brian cuts out the pieces and I assemble them together. When I shoot, Brian helps me with the styling, makeup and set design. When we do film work together, I direct and do 1st camera, Brian handles 2nd camera, sound and editing. When we paint, Brian does the outlines and I do the fades. When we make love, we use every Kama Sutra position, and that’s how we roll!

Slava & Brian

Tell us a secret about the other…!

Slava: Brian is a multiple orgasm man. Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s a curse!

Brian: Slava cannot live without his magic superfood pancakes. He makes them for breakfast every morning for the past few years. He says they bring him luck. He also has pet morning doves that now congregate on our fire escape. He feeds them roasted sunflower seeds.

What was the last book you read // the last record you listened to from beginning to end // the last exhibition you saw?

Brian: John Waters’ new book, Carsick. TheStand4rd by Spooky Black. See You In Hell by Gio Black Peter at The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division.

Slava: City Boy, an excellent memoir about underground gay New York of the ’60s and ’70s by Edmund White. The Marriage Of True Minds, the latest album by Matmos. Michael Stipe’s clever and elegant collaborative project New Sites New Noise at 80 WSE Gallery, NYU Steinhardt.

Superm is a reference to Slava’s tattoo Supermogutin/Supermighty, which you’ve stated is like a queer version of ubermensch… what qualities would you need to have to qualify as a queer superman?

Brian: Be bold! Be strong! Be brilliant!

Slava: Queers that fight back. Queers that can think for themselves and never conform or compromise. 

What driving force or motto that you live your life by has got you to where you are today?

Brian: Art is all that matters.

Slava: The Russian proverb, which I used as an epigraph for Food Chain: “If you’re afraid of the wolves, don’t fuck in the woods.”

Join Slava and Brian on Wednesday 5th November for the SUPERM Party at Dalston Superstore from 8pm – 2.30am

Main image by Mitchell Mccormack, all other images courtesy of SUPRERM unless otherwise specified.

The Queer Archive

In one week’s time a brand new night comes to Dalston Superstore: The Queer Archive. Editor and producer of the TQA Konstantinos is hosting the very first party as a fundraiser for Greek trans* artist and activist Paola Revenioti to secure funds to put on an exhibition of her work at the White Cubicle gallery. With a hot line-up featuring the likes of A Man To Pet, The Lovely Jonjo, RUFUS&Bambi and more, it’s set to be a FUN night of fundraising! We caught up with Konstantinos to find out more about his plans for The Queer Archive…

Why does London need The Queer Archive?

The Queer Archive is primarily a blog that showcases queer films and video art found on the internet. It is a selection of the best there is on offer, selected by a great list of contributors. Since it’s on the web, it can viewed by anybody anywhere and not just in London. The other side of The Queer Archive is production and curation of films and art exhibitions. Through our fundraising efforts we will be able to help filmmakers and artists to create and promote their work. There will be a whole series of The Queer Archive fundraising parties to help us fund these projects. At the moment our activities will mainly take place in London, but there are plans to go further afield in the future.  

Who are the key artists that inspire TQA?

There are so many queer artists and filmmakers around the world. There is so much to see but sometimes it’s difficult to remember and find the work online. The Queer Archive will make that easier and more accessible for viewers to watch what is out there.

What queer films- both short and feature length- should we be looking out for this winter?

I’m looking forward to Concussion by Stacie Passon.

Tell us about the first TQA fundraiser planned here at Dalston Superstore?

We are trying to raise money to put together the first UK exhibition of a great artist and activist Paola Revenioti. I know she’s got lots of fans in London so I hope they will all come and support us. The DJ list is very impressive. Holestar, The Lovely Jonjo, A Man To Pet, Hello Mozart, RUFUS&Bambi, Duchess Of Pork. They were all so happy to come and play. I am so very grateful and I’m sure it will be so much fun!

How did you put together the line-up for the party? Did you specificially reach out to queer DJs and performers who you feel align with the TQA ethos?

First of all I wanted both girls and boys to play. All of the DJs in the list play amazing music and people love them for that. And they’re all friends or people I’ve worked with in the past. It wasn’t my intention to only reach out to queer DJs, it just happens that I mostly know queer artists.

What can we expect from the night?

Great music and wild dancing!

Why is Paola Reveniotti an artist we should be supporting?

Paola has been a fighter for queer rights for decades and decades. She has created her work based on her instinct and love for life. And she has been fighting against the establishment through any means available to her. She published her anarchist queer fanzine in the ’80s, she organised the first gay pride in Athens funded by her own prostitution, she currently directs a series of great documentaries.

It is important to know our past and Paola is an important chapter in gay history. More people need to know about her, especially nowadays that history repeats itself and people make the same mistakes.

Where are the best places to find queer art in the capital?

Fringe Film Festival is one of them. We showcase the work of great queer artists, along with our program of films. The exhibition program lasts for approximately the whole month of April. The film program of the Tate Modern is very often queer oriented. Little Joe magazine hosts brilliant screenings of great queer films. In general there is queer art to be found in London in various places. But we need more, don’t we?

What was the last thing you read/saw/heard that moved you?

The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs.

Who else might we hope to see The Queer Archive highlighting in future?

I have some thoughts about the next project we will take on, but it’s very soon to tell.

Join Konstantinos for the very first fundraiser for The Queer Archive next Friday 27th September at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.

Fringe! Film Festival 2013

With Fringe! Film Festival currently taking place at various locations across East London, and the official Mean Girls screening afterparty, Totally Fetch: Fringe! Vs Mean Girls taking over both floors of Superstore with Hannah Holland, Nic Fisher, Duchess Of Pork, Kostakis, John Sizzle and Vangelis & Tareq playing the biggest hits from 2004 and the best bits from the Mean Girls soundtrack it’s going to be like the prom you wished you’d had.

We asked the guys at Fringe! to tell us about about a few of the events they’ve got happening during the festival…

WEDNESDAY: Bob Mizer Fight Club exhibition

The Bob Mizer Foundation and Fringe! present a one-week-only installation sampling later period wrestling films from the estate of legendary photographer, filmmaker and independent publisher Bob Mizer at Studio 1.1 on Redchurch Street.

Full info

THURSDAY: Five Dances

The opening film, Five Dances, will be screened at Hackney Picturehouse on Thursday 11th April from 9:30pm. Directed by Alan Brown, this will also be the European premiere and is a classic tale about finding love and succes in the big city.

Tickets and info

FRIDAY: Satan’s Angel: Queen Of The Fire Tassles

The Hackney Picturehouse will be showing the UK premiere of this documentary about lesbian burlesque star Satan’s Angel whose legendary flaming tassel has been entertaining nightclubs since the early ’60s.

Tickets and info

SATURDAY: In Their Room London

This is the world premiere of the third instalment of Travis Matthews’ In Their Room project. Shot in London during last year’s Fringe! festival, this brand film from the director of I Want Your Love and Interior.Leather.Bar is showing on Saturday 13th April at The Rio from 11:30pm.

Tickets and info

For the full Fringe! Film Festival lineup visit the official site: www.fringefilmfest.com/2013-programme