The Queer New York International Arts Festival 2013
By Jesse Steinbach
Images courtesy of QNYIA Festival
The Queer New York International Arts Festival 2013 launches next Wednesday, October 23, so start getting yourself prepared. The fest is in New York City through Sunday, November 3—and promises to be a wild, wild ride.
What's QNYIA all about? The festival celebrates contemporary performance and visual art that explores the concept of "queer," and it aims to both examine and broaden our understanding of the word.
Various performances will take place in downtown venues, in addition to over 20 international artists exhibiting their work at multiple locations throughout the city. QNYIA is produced and curated by Zvonimir Dobrović and the late André von Ah.
As it states in its press materials, QNYIA's primary mission objective is to reinvent the definition of queer. The festival strives to feature artists who not only confront gender and identity in their work, but who address alternative yet related issues on personal, social, and aesthetic otherness. What may be the most ambitious and profound decision: Rather than a provincial selection of easy to swallow (and understand) Western aesthetics and theories, the diversity of artists from around the world promises to be a challenging mix of confrontational points of view.
There are plenty of artists to watch at this year's festival, including United Arab Emirates-born and New York-based visual-performance artist CHOKRA (Conscious Hoarding Of Kinetic Rage Associated), who will present a futuristic, hyper-glamorous, and hybrid cultural rendition of an Arabian Gulf marriage ceremony. SUKA OFF, a Poland-based artist collective, will exhibit a multimedia performance project driven by the search for non-verbal forms of communication between humans in intimate relationships. Bojana Radulović will use her body as an object in the space, playing with the most stereotypical images of the female body in her show Air Doll.
A little closer to home, David Weissman, who recently received critical acclaim for his documentary exploring the ramifications of the AIDS epidemic, We Are Here, will show and discuss his previous amazing doc, The Cockettes, which tells the story of the influential San Francisco-based drag collective. Choreographer-dancer Eisa Jocson from the Philippines, Colombia-based installation/performance artist Guillermo Riveros, choreographer Ângelo Madureira from Brazil and a queer music series are also included in the fest. These are just a few among many other talented artists to watch. Check out the full schedule here and support the queer arts in the coming weeks. We'll be profiling several of the artists involved, so stay tuned.