Documentation of the exhibition "Dorian, a cinematic perfume" at Participant, Inc., NYC, May 2009.
This installation consists of a four-channel video piece, costumes, props, photographs and drawings from the project. For this exhibition there were two nights of live performances: one night featured renowned Theremin player Armen Ra with a reading of Wilde's text by Sequinette and another night featured electronic musician Stefan Tcherepnin, viola player Nadia Sirota and a live performance by Mother Flawless Sabrina.
"Dorian, a cinematic perfume" is a project based on Oscar Wilde’s 19th century novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Handelman has interpreted the story and it’s queer undertones by casting Dorian as a young woman discovered by a fashion photographer, then catapulted into the world of empty celebrity. She falls under the tutelage of a famous drag queen and becomes a nightclub luminary, constantly followed by the paparazzi. These media images become the infamous portrait, grotesquely mutating as she grows more beautiful and famous, culminating in her own narcissistic destruction.
Like the films of Warhol and Godard, that blur the lines between performance and reality, all of the performers in Dorian are playing some version of themselves. Sequinette (Dorian) is a gender-bending drag impresario; Armen Ra (Lord H) is a renowned Theremin player; K8 Hardy (Sybl Vain) is a performance artist and co-creator of the queer art collective LTTR; Quin Charity (Basil) is a media artist and Flawless Sabrina (Dead Dorian) is a drag legend.
Director/Producer: Michelle Handelman
Featuring: Quin Charity, K8 Hardy, Armen Ra, Sequinette and Flawless Sabrina
Original Music: Vincent Baker, Lustmord, Armen Ra, Nadia Sirota and Stefan Tcherepnin
Cinematography: Edward C.R. David
Costumes: Garo Sparo
Still photography: Laure Leber
Artwork: Amelie Chabannes (drawings for animation) and Daniella Dooling (wall sculptures)