Take Karaoke: A Proposition for Performance Art
November 4–December 16, 2015 / Cohen Gallery, Brown University / Providence, RI
Take Karaoke is the first in a three-part project entitled “The Baltimore Trilogy.” The exhibition uses the materiality of bars, performance spaces, and nightlife venues to stage, engage, and rewire tropes of performance art. Organized around forms of social exchange in a Baltimore gay bar called The Drinkery, Take Karaoke is a voluptuous bionic striptease; a riot of frivolous adaptation; a performative jump-off; a platform (literally!) for activism, pick-up lines, and stand-up comedy. Positing what might have happened if the city-wide curfew had not been enforced during the April 2015 uprisings, the video highlights the conditions where bodies fall subject to forms of spectacle, victimhood, queering, and racializing.