Brutal Measures (Lydia Lunch + Weasel Walter), Keijaun Thomas, Straight Panic
For their first program as 2018 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow, Queer Trash is delighted to present Brutal Measures (Lydia Lunch + Weasel Walter), Keijaun Thomas, and Straight Panic. Queer Trash cruises in relentless pursuit of bodily disruptions and sonic deviance against avant-normativity; the collective promises an evening of unhinged sound, linguistic onslaught, and remorseless rupture of the structures of power and subjugation in which everyone is implicated.
Straight Panic is the queer nihilist power electronics project of Thomas Boettner, formerly from Minneapolis, MN and now based in New Orleans, LA. Against assimilation, against ease, Straight Panic matches the intensity of queer rage and desire to richly layered sound, drawing on sources such as the writing of Dennis Cooper to the atrocities of the current “gay purge” in Chechneya.
In her performances, Brooklyn-based Keijaun Thomas embodies a multitude of persona in careful manipulations of objects and sound. Like a priestess of the marginalized, she inverts the social order to center and uphold the denigrated lives and labor on which our society depends. With powerful transformations of seemingly ordinary materials, Keijaun’s performances are saturated with meaning. In her words, she is “reimagining, reworking, and reconstructing notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of blackness in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness amongst materials.”
Brutal Measures is a collaboration between Lydia Lunch and Weasel Walter, two innovators of the most challenging, aggressive, and uncompromising nether regions of no wave, free jazz, electroacoustic composition, and spoken word. Lydia’s body of work has always been confrontational, from the band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks formed in 1976 to the current group Retrovirus, her Cinema of Transgression collaborations with Richard Kern in the 1980’s, to her longstanding history of infamous spoken word performances. Lydia serves an acerbic and viciously uncompromising assault on patriarchy, sexuality, perversity, and the status quo.
Weasel Walter’s body of work is no less uncompromising, with over twenty years of dedication to the most extreme forms of sonic expression. Walter’s projects include the legendary skronk/punk/no-wave band The Flying Luttenbachers, Cellular Chaos, To Live and Shave in LA, and intense free jazz collaborations with Roscoe Mitchell, John Butcher, Peter Evans, and countless others.
Together, these three performances cut across time, space, and dimensions of interrelated social realities. As the world continues to collapse, economically, politically, environmentally, and in ways yet to be seen, it remains crucial to make space for creative amplification of critical dissent. Queer Trash takes pleasure in the reorientation of discomfort, in the celebration of desire, in the collapse of hetero-patriarchy. In the words of Lydia Lunch, “Pleasure is the ultimate rebellion. The first thing they steal from us as women is pleasure at the brink of the apocalypse, pleasure at the mouth of the volcano. Pleasure. And that’s why we create.”