Friday, April 17, 2009
Vaginal Davis is a drag queen, performance artist, painter, independent curator, composer, and writer. Yet, she doesn't do any of those things the way you might be thinking. What makes her especially interesting to me is that, in the world of drag the goal is usually to look like the ideal woman, or better than the ideal woman. However, Vaginal Davis took that idea and rolled it around on the floor of a mosh pit. Her infamous performances and well basically her existence is a commentary on the bizarre world of female impersonation, and I mean that in the way that most women are doing some sort of impersonation.... its not just drag queens. Vaginal Davis uses drag and performance to take our understanding of gender to new limits. Amazingly enough her career also knows no limits....she's performed with Margaret Cho and Beck, was in a band with Beck's mom Bibbe Hanson called Black Fag, performed in plays and quite a few movies (from Bruce LaBruce's to big time hollywood) , and has formed many important bands and performance groups- such as "¡Cholita! the Female Menudo" with Alice Bag. She also has an upcoming book entitled Beware the Holy Retarded Whore, a compilation of her interviews with celebrities like Keanu Reeves, Missy Elliott, and Eminem.
If you're interested check out this performance she did as commentary on Vanessa Beecroft's work. The text accompanying the video does a really great job of explaining why Vaginal Davis's work is so important.