Monday, September 1, 2008

RNC....and a bunch of weirdo queeers

Today was the beginning of the Republican National Convention. Everyone was unsure if the thing would go off due to complications with hurricanes, unplanned pregnancies, and a missing prez bush...but on it went.

Minneapolis has been seriously gearing up for a ton of bullshit to go down. Activist friends have been housing other activists from out of town, meetings upon meetings have occured in radical spaces all over the city. What we didn't expect were the crazy preemtive house raids over the last two days, or that fucking Amy Goodman from democracy now would get arrested.

There will undoubtably be some fallout after both of these incidents.

I, personally had a hard time convincing myself that staging a large-scale march, or other violent/semi-violent/non-violent protest would actually DO anything constructive. I do not feel the need to build community with other back-patting activists...I like a PROJECT! a good, old-fashioned project where an outcome is clear and present.

So I decided to participate in this public performance by the artist Sharon Hayes. It was put on by Creative Time in NYC and the Walker Art Center, here in minneapolis. The performance was called Revolutionary Love 2: I am your best fantasy. Basically it was a bunch of queers, gathered together, reading this letter that Sharon had written. The letter is from the perspective of an estranged lover, and develops into a series of commands. The readers command the audience to take their queerness seriously, to understand that their experessions of love, and lust, and identity not be undermined, or depersonalized within the hubbbbub of the political process.

Me, and a whole krew (about 70 of us) all gathered at the Walker, were bussed down to a designated spot sort of away from the capitol, but still totally visible. We waited around while things got set up. We made sure out outfits were on right, and then we gathered in a square and recited the letter 3 times. Everyone was dressed to the fiercest. Drag, sexxx, weird, flapper, "punk", undressed looks were all in effect. It was kind of amazing reciting the thing. All these onlookers gathered and were taking pictures and videos. It was really cathartic to all be reading aloud from the perspective of only one person. To have all these different bodies, and experiences gathered together pushing something totally personal out into the public. Especially because we were SO out of place with all the republicans and zombie convention onlookers. It was a completely different experience than marching in a rally. It felt way more specific, and way less anonymous. So kudos to Sharon Hayes and everyone that put it on.

On a graphic note. My pal Ilana is visiting from chicago, so we decided to work on a print together. So far it's REALLY weird...and it has lots of strange drawings of exercise equipment. we'lll see how it goes.

back to the print shop tomorrow! yippeeeee!

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