Two academics discuss their work related to the seminal New York artist, Jack Smith.
A film by Penny Arcade
Voices: Daniel Isengart and Penny Arcade
Puppets: Steve Zehentner and Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade: A runaway at thirteen, a reform-school graduate at sixteen, a performer in the legendary New York City Play-House of the Ridiculous at seventeen, and an escapee from Andy Warhol’s Factory scene at nineteen, Penny Arcade emerged in the 1980s as a primal force on the New York art scene and an originator of what came to be called performance art. Arcade’s brand of high camp and street-smart, punk-rock cabaret showmanship has been winning over international audiences ever since.
Penny Arcade is the author of ten full-length performance pieces including the mainstream hit Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! Her work been presented in venues as celebrated as the Sydney Opera House and as sordid as New York’s Pyramid Club.
With long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner, Arcade is the co-producer of The Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history project. The project’s biographies cablecast in New York City every Monday at 11pm EST. LIKE us on Facebook and see the current cablecast schedule facebook.com/LowerEastSideBiographyProject
Bad Reputation, her first book was published by Semiotexte/MIT Press; and she was recently portrayed by Sex in the City actress Cynthia Nixon in the film, Englishman in New York, the biopic about her friend Quentin Crisp. pennyarcade.tv
If there is an underlying thematic in all of Arcade’s work, it is perhaps this concern to advocate the full expression of our “life force”—creative, sexual, physically and verbally expressive—and to speak out against those societal and political forces that would repress such energizing self-realization.
– Stephen Bottoms, University of Leeds, U.K.
Filmed and edited by Steve Zehentner