Leave a comment

Diana Oh’s {my lingerie play} Installation 9/10: THE CONCERT AND CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!!!!

Two weeks ago, I took off for a weekend workshop in NYC and seized the opportunity to see Diana Oh’s {my lingerie play} Installation 9/10: THE CONCERT CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!!!! at The Rattlestick in the West Village.

I have been following Diana Oh’s work online for the past few years and was thrilled to be able to catch the 9th installation in her series: {my lingerie play}.  

Diana Oh has been building the {my lingerie play} cycle over the past few years through

IMG_2877

Installation 4/10: YOU WERE BORN FROM HERE (as presented in the {mlp} lobby).  The text next on the right says “We were all born out of the vagina and yet it’s one of the most abused body parts in the world.”

the process of creating living installations in public spaces.  All of the installations are thoroughly documented online and include: THE WORLD BENDS OVER BACKWARDS TO EXCUSE (white) MALE VIOLENCE, EVEN IF YOU FOUND ME LIKE THIS (you still can’t rape me), and YOU WERE BORN FROM HERE.  Most of the installations took place in NYC’s Time’s Square and all installations provided multiple ways for audiences to (1) Receive the art (2) Respond.

The 9th installment opened in late September, 2017, days before the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault stories broke.  In the span of the show’s month long run, the hashtag “#MeToo”, originally created by activist Tarana Burke, gained momentum after Alyssa Milano called on people on social media to help uncover the magnitude of the problem by using #MeToo if they have been a victim of sexual violence.  Oh’s play resonated with the moment in a way that I wish I could to say she didn’t expect, but really, violence against women, trans, queer and non-binary people is ongoing, whether or not the New York Times is talking about it.  We need this art.  Oh’s play is activism; it call’s for us to “Queer the World.”  

“This was the 9th installation of 10 installations staged in an effort to create a safe, more courageous space for women, queer, trans, and non-binary humans to live in.”

{my lingerie play} e-program

IMG_2875

GLITTER STATION!! “Do you BooBoo, do you!”

{my lingerie play} lives somewhere between a theatricalized song-cycle and a call to arms through music and personal story-sharing.  Upon entering the space, my friend Alana and I climbed the steep stairs of The Rattlestick.  The stairs were covered in brown paper bags with calls to action written on them, such as “Truth Must Not Be Silent.”  At the top of the stairs, we were greeted by ushers who gave us each our own paper bag and directed us to respond to the prompt posted on stage and then to sparkle up at the Glitter Station  (yes, a Glitter Station with a buffet of colors and glitters for us to adorn ourselves with).  The room itself was full of the brown paper bags containing the audience members’ answers in response to the prompt: “Why do you create a safer & more courageous world for us all.”  These bags were taped throughout the room, up the walls and across the floor, including the stage, creating a unifying flow which aesthetically broke the hierarchical barrier of stage versus audience.  

If the play had a structural mission, it was to break down those walls between the audience and the performers through the audience rushing the stage as cats, to people of color invited to exercise out some of their pain by rocking out on the guitar or banging away on the drums, to spur of the moment consensual intimacy. Not only was I spellbound by the entire experience (it’s a journey from being strangers in a room to slowly admitting, “yeah, I see you and I’ll let you see me”), but the dramaturgical avenues of support and resonance are massive.  By the end, I knew was this an evening to hold in my heart.  As Alana and I made our way out, we were handed programs containing the credits for the creative team along with short manifestos and all the lyrics to the {mlp} songs.  As we went out into the smelly streets of New York, Alana turned to me and said something to the effect of “she created a safe space in there and it is so clearly not a safe place out here.”

It was glorious to be able to be in a space purposefully crafted to be inclusive.  I wish it wasn’t such a rare experience.

IMG_2874

Post show connecting happening under a list of Invitations.

(All pictures were taken by me, Corianna Moffatt)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: