Christina Zeidler as Valerie Solanas.
As part of the EXPLAIN YOURSELF! Performance Series I will be performing excerpts from the S.C.U.M. Manifesto by Valerie Solanas, scored by myself for Ukulele. The S.C.U.M. (Society For Cutting Up Men) Manifesto was written in 1968.
Solanas’ wikipedia entry begins: “Valerie Jean Solanas (April 9, 1936 – April 25, 1988) was an American radical feminist writer, best known for her attempted murder of Andy Warhol in 1968. She wrote the SCUM Manfesto , which urged women to “overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex.” Some authors regard the manifesto as a parody of patriarchy and a satirical work.”
Valerie wrote the manifesto the year I was born. I have lived in an after-Valerie world. I think the manifesto is more a utopian hand book. Looking back, it is ironic to see her call for “automation” as a means to end oppression and yet prophetic to hear her call for eliminating “the money system”. As for “destroying the male sex”, no I don’t think that is satirical, however don’t take it so personally! The male sex has to be seen as a deep tool of oppression, something to destroy, like the Patriarchy. I think the manifesto is funny, as in Valerie has a sense of humour, but I do not see it as satirical; in the vein of Swift’s “Modest Proposal”.
Valarie Solanas is a dyke image icon. The idea of doing lesbian drag using her work as the foundation is thrilling and terrifying. Similar to Valerie’s approach with the SCUM Manifesto, I approach this “drag” performance with a sense of humour, certainly it is funny to sing melodiously about “destroying the male sex”, but it is not satire or parody, rather the ukulele implies the sincerity of intent. Scoring the words to music helps us mull over them, roll them around, activate them.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! Performance Series. Feb. 26th, 2012 GoodHandy’s 120 Church St. Toronto, 8pm
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! is a new performance series brought to you by the Hardworkin’ Homosexuals – the super great people who brought you Cheap Queers for so many years. EXPLAIN YOURSELF! is a mighty performance spectacular happening for one night only on Sunday February 26th, 2012 at Goodhandy’s, 120 Church Street, Toronto. The evening begins at 8pm and the admission is $6.00 at the door or $5.75 if you are a Top or bring a Top with you.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! is the first in a new series that creates events around select publications that take up the topic of Queer literature, performance, theory and culture. For the first edition of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! we celebrate the launch of Canadian Theatre Review: Queer Performance: Women and Trans Artists. This edition of The Canadian Theatre Review was edited by Moynan King and features the performance script of Jess Dobkin’s Everything I’ve Got and articles on The Boychoir of Lesbos, Trey Anthony, Nathalie Claude, Hope Thompson plus several other influential Canadian women, lesbian and trans performers.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! is a performance event that asks artists to perform an analysis, from a personal point of view, of current Queer culture in any shape of form they desire – the forum is wide open but time is of the essence – the audience can expect rapid fire performances lasting 2 – 5 minutes. Dayna McLeod is set to host this inaugural event and DJ’s Back Fat and Lushus Lix tag team the turntables!
The first edition of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! features performances by: David Bateman, Shannon Cochrane, Keith Cole, Jess Dobkin, Sky Gilbert, John Greyson, Donna Michelle St. Bernard, Mariko Tamaki, Hope Thompson, Trixie & Beever, Spy Dénommé Welch and Christina Zeidler.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! promises to be a glamourous evening full of entertaining entertainers plus it is a great way to meet Tops. We can’t meet Tops unless you bring them!
Hardworkin’ Homosexuals are: Moynan King, Keith Cole and Jonathan Da Silva and we are pleased to be back in business to celebrate the launch of Canadian Theatre Review (issue #149) Queer Performance: Women and Trans Artists edited by Moynan King.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! First Edition, Hosted By: Dayna McLeod, One Night Only! Sunday February 26th, 2012 @8pm
Goodhandy’s, 120 Church Street – www.goodhandys.com - Admission: $6.00 at the door // $5.75 if you are or bring a Top