Showcore acted out. Our songs afforded us alter egos. We displaced our self-conscious displays of narcissism and exhibitionism onto: hard luck chorus boys, bitter acting teachers, hapless drug dealers, chic police psychics, wry divorcées, grandiloquent ghosts, charming changelings, all kinds of witches. Genres boiled down to a catchy five minutes, a feat we called “hyper-narrative,” accelerating the storytelling, embracing excess without attempting realism. — Alexandro Segade*
The Institute of Contemporary Art exhibition My Barbarian is a three-channel video installation of a two-hour compilation of new edits of its performance work and archive, much of it previously unseen. The single gallery presentation also includes sculptures, paintings, drawings, masks, textiles, costumes, and puppets from My Barbarian productions over the last two decades.
In addition, the group—Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade—brings its theatrical critique of the “mythologies of late-stage capitalism” to Los Angeles for a series of live performances, absurdist détournés which draw from Greek and Noh theater traditions, camp drag, science fiction, and rock opera.
This weekend ICA LA presents Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theater at the museum, featuring opera company members from The Industry. And in December, REDCAT will present Double Future, double-bill performances of Silver Minds (2005/2022) and You Were Born Poor and Poor You Will Die (2005/2022), backed by a trio—Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ethan Philbrick on cello, and RaShonda Reeves on keyboards.
See links below for details.
MY BARBARIAN — BROKE PEOPLE’S BAROQUE PEOPLES’ THEATER
Saturday, October 29, from 5 pm to 9 pm
Exhibition open through January 15
1717 East 7th Street, downtown Los Angeles
Silver Minds (Tourists from the Future) and
You Were Born Poor and Poor You Will Die (An Inhuman Sacrifice)
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
December 8, 9, and 10
631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles
*Alexandro Segade, “Showcore,” in My Barbarian, edited by Adrienne Edwards, Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2021). Text © Alexandro Segade and My Barbarian.
“Happier Endings: Catherine Quan Damman on the Art of My Barbarian,” Artforum , vol. 60, no. 3 (November 2021): 158–163.
“Questions of Representation: Malik Gaines in Conversation with Barlo Perry,” PARIS LA 16 (2018–2019): 178–181.
My Barbarian, from top: My Barbarian, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, October 1, 2022–January 14, 2022, installation view, photograph by Jeff McLane/ICA LA; My Barbarian in performance, Malik Gaines (left), Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade, photograph by Paula Court; My Barbarian, ICA LA, installation view, photograph by McLane; Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theatre (The Three Goddesses), Los Angeles, 2009, Gaines (left), Segade, and Gordon, masks by Gordon, gowns by Segade, photograph by My Barbarian, poster image courtesy and © ICA LA and The Industry; My Barbarian in performance, Gaines, photograph by Court; My Barbarian in performance, Gordon, Gaines, and Segade, photograph by Court; My Barbarian, ICA LA, photograph by McLane. Images © My Barbarian; photographs by Jeff McLane courtesy and © the photographer and ICA LA; photographs by Paula Court courtesy and © the photographer and REDCAT.