Penny Arcade: Eroticism Without Control
“As for other art forms, I think you are about to discover singer-drag goddess Joey Arias in a big way, Lady Bunny who is filthy and funny, and Acid Betty, who might be the true heir to Leigh Bowery. You have yet to experience the very English David Cale, who has performed in New York for two decades. We see fewer London artists, and you see fewer New York artists, because of the high cost of living in both cities, as well as the airfares and lodging costs.” PENNY ARCADE.
For the full article CLICK HERE. Transgressive New York show Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! pioneered a whole scene of gender-defying queer performance 20 years ago. Franco Milazzo interviews creator Penny Arcade on the different attitudes across the pond. Penny Arcade’s show Bitch!Faghag!Whore opens at the Arcola Tent thid week.The Village Voice called you a “sex radical” ten years ago. Would you call yourself one now? Anyone who thinks sex is a natural function of being human is a sex radical in our sex-phobic and sexually exploitive society. Anyone who is not judgmental about the different ways that humans need to have sex is a sex radical. Sex and its function changes as one gets older, and I continue to be a pioneer in my own destiny. The answer is yes. I am still quite radical about sex. Is America as prudish as it looks in the media? How is New York different? Britain, you may remember, exported the prudish Pilgrims to America. But yes, it is a very puritanical place. However, the use of sensationalistic sex, i.e. sex without content, as long as it is sufficiently silly, grotesque, sordid, goofy or just plain gratuitous, will always find an audience in America and in New York. New York was not America 15 years ago, though. Sadly, it’s been invaded by America, although there are pockets of cultural resistance still left in New York. Have attitudes to sex changed in America since Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! premiered two decades ago? Has it affected the show? Sexual mores have changed very little in America over the past 20 years. In some ways, things are sexually more conservative now than ever, despite how “sexualised” things may look on the outside. With the onslaught of Internet porn, more people are having sex – with themselves. One must remember that the original neo-burlesque scene that followed Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! 15 years ago was created by artists who had worked for money in erotic and topless bars, and the art they created was edgy and political. The now ubiquitous burlesque scene gives the idea that a lot of libidinally generated art is happening, but it is costume-driven and largely about personality. So it looks sexier on the surface with lots of younger women running around in Victoria’s Secret outfits, but burlesque itself is barely sexy. While gender is the big subject of people under 35, including the critique of its binary system, everything is more gendered than ever. Even so-called “gender-fluids” are pushed into being specific about gender.