Michelle Handelman "Dorian"

Participant Inc.

poster for Michelle Handelman "Dorian"

This event has ended.

DORIAN is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray: “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” Presented as a non-linear narrative on four screens, Handelman’s DORIAN employs the queer undertones of the original novel as a starting point for a feminist reworking of the tale through a new queer identity. Told by means of fragmented dialogue and music, each character utilizes their own instrument: Theremin, synthesizer, viola, voice.

Inspired by Wilde’s themes of decadence, beauty, and the meaning of art, Handelman’s Dorian is a young woman discovered by a fashion photographer, then catapulted into a world of high celebrity. Falling under the tutelage of a renowned drag queen, she becomes a downtown nightclub luminary, constantly followed by the paparazzi. Media images become the infamous portrait, grotesquely mutating as she grows more beautiful and famous, culminating in her own narcissistic destruction. Dorian exists as a contemporary superstar, a mirror to our own narcissism--desirable, unknowable, destroyed by vacant ambition.

Like films of Warhol and Godard that blur the line between performance and reality, all of the performers in DORIAN are playing some version of themselves: Wren Kistler aka Sequinette (Dorian) is a gender-bending drag impresario; Armen Ra (Lord H) is a drag queen and renowned Theremin player; Quin Charity (Basil) is a media artist; and K8 Hardy (Sybl Vain) is a performance artist and co-creator of the queer art collective LTTR.



from April 26, 2009 to May 31, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-04-26 from 19:00 to 21:00
performance by Armen Ra and Sequinette

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