QUEER, ILL, & OKAY (2015)
QUEER, ILL, + OKAY (2015)
QUEER, ILL, + OKAY is an annual multidisciplinary performance series exploring, challenging, and reinventing narratives about the lives of queer individuals and their relationships to HIV and other forms of mental and chronic illness. In 2013 Joseph Varisco, Creative Director of JRV MAJESTY Productions began the series after being diagnosed as HIV+. He realized that we all know someone whose life has been impacted by illness and turned to his artistic communities to further understand the relationship between queerness, the body, and chronic illness.
FEATURING: SKY CUBACUB| AMIR RABIYAH | JOAN GIROUX | ALLIE SHYER |
OLI RODRIGUEZ | SCOTT ARTLEY | IREASHIA MONÉT | DONNELL WILLIAMS
QUEER, ILL, + OKAY appeared at the DCASE Storefront Theater in partnership with the City of Chicago'sDepartment of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the ADA's 25th Anniversary, and The Inconvenience.
QIO first appeared for Poonie's Cabaret at Links Hall in October 2013 and at DfbrL8r Performing Arts Gallery in July 2014 to sold out houses. Educational workshops and community conversations were added in partnership with Howard Brown Health Center to provide information and resources about living with chronic illness. Since first appearing QIO has reached over 1500 artists and audience members.
In 2015 QIO was awarded grants from Visual AIDS and through fiscal sponsorship with Links Hall, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to introduce a third year of new original work.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Amir Rabiyah is a queer, disabled and two-spirit writer of Lebanese, Syrian, Cherokee, and European ancestry. Their work explores the complex and beautiful intersections of multiple identities. Amir has been published in Mizna, Sukoon, Left Turn Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Bird's Thumb, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Enizagam, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality, and more. Amir lives in San Diego and co-editor of the anthology Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices. | amirrabiyah.com
Joan Giroux is an interdisciplinary artist, activist and educator who has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally, and received numerous grants and residencies. In her recent body of work, she translates aspects of caregiving in domestic and institutional settings to frame reflections on diminishment, frailty, vulnerability, loss and death. In “Life review: sacrifice best what is not yours,” she unpacks why she moved to Berlin in 1987, where she lived on and off until 1993. The work is inspired by a deep connection with her friend, artist Matthew Ranger, diagnosed at a time when living with HIV and AIDS had not yet been made possible. | joangiroux.wordpress.com
Scott Artley is a multi-disciplinary artist and cultural producer whose practice spans visual art, performance, curation, and entrepreneurism. As an arts administrator he has worked with the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Southern Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, and Mixed Precipitation’s Picnic Operetta, among others. Since 2012, his independent consulting practice Collective Creation has assisted community-based arts and civic organizations with fundraising, communications, evaluation, and developing community engagement programming.
| collective-creation.org Collaborator Credits: Evan Boyce, AP Looze, Zoe Michael, & Amy Salloway
Ireashia Monét is an interdisciplinary artist who uses personal experiences to fuel visual stories that center around identity, mental and invisible disabilities, and womanist ideologies. Tonight she is performing a reinterpretation of the internal struggle for liberation and motivation in times of social uncertainty and spiritual unrest.
Oli Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist working in video, photography and performance. His projects conceptually intersect and dialogue within consent, queerness, childhood and sexuality. Currently, he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Photography Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rodriguez has screened, performed, lectured and exhibited his works internationally and nationally. | olirodriguez.com
Allie Shyer is a queer writer, artist and organizer originally from New York City, She graduated with a BA in Written Arts from Bard College. Her practice explores mythology and the body, particularly her own queer female body, through the power of semantic and alchemic transformation. She also works with the art collective 3rd-Language to create publications featuring the work of queer artists, and organizes workshops and events. | allisonshyer.wix.com/
Donnell Williams is a compositional improviser. Recently, Donny immersed himself in Cape Town’s contact improv community under Jori Snell. Before returning to Chicago, he schooled Barcelona on queer dance trio, DoubleDJ, at IFTR 's "Re-Routing Performance”. Donnell is a Company Member with Barrel of Monkeys, a cheerleader with Mucca Pazza, and inaugural member of Goldmine Arts Collective.
Collaborator Credits: Andrew Brown received his PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern this July. His most recent work is a series of performance based on the lives of and collaboratively devised with a group of queer refugees in South Africa. In the fall, Andrew will join the faculty of Western Washington University as Assistant Professor of Performance Art. | Danielle Campbell graduated from SAIC with a BFA in 2013 with a focus in Film and Video. She is the party coordinator and on the screening committee for the Chicago Underground Film Festival, as well as on the programming board for Chicago Filmmakers. Danielle currently works as an adviser for professional development at SAIC full time.
Sky Cubacub is the creator, designer and maker of Rebirth Garments, a custom made line of lingerie, clothing and accessories for the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. Rebirth Garments is about claiming our bodies in a social context that is confronting and breaking down Cartesian dichotomies. It is navigating obstacles that social systems construct through disparate points of inspiration. This movement celebrates the contradiction. We, as QueerCrips, are living contradictions in a society that wants us dead.- Excerpt from Radical Visibility Manifesto | skycubacub.com
Featuring Models: | Gabriel Anaya | Manu Cab | Andrea Craft | Qwilleran Duvall | Guadalupe Gregoria Y. Espina | Dean Evans | Maegan J | Carrie K | Éireann Kearby | Nina Litoff | Thomas Love | Heather Lynn* | mc | Ireashia Monet | Miriam Piilonen | Compton Q | Rosè | Danny Sanchez | Allie Shyer | Andy Slavin | Hannah Thompson | Nola Weber | Mariyah Winding | Sandie Yi | Michelle Zacarias | *Author of song/track New Blood