Narcissister, Man Woman, 2009
Narcissister
Man Woman

The New York artist Narcissister studied Afro-American studies at Brown University and modern dance at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. She initially worked as a professional dancer. She integrates textile works, collages, sculpture, photography and video into her performance works. Her performances (including All Made Up: Fauxnique / Monique Jenkinson and Narcissister, 2009, This Masquerade, 2010) and videos have been shown in numerous clubs and galleries in New York (The New Museum, New York; The Kitchen, New York) as well as internationally (including Kampnagel Hamburg; Warehouse 9, Copenhagen). She was one of the re-performers for Marina Abramović (see ABR 1) in her retrospective exhibition “The Artist Is Present” at the MoMA. In 2013 Narcissister had her first solo exhibition Narcissister is You in the gallery envoy enterprises in New York. BK

Narcissister is a Gesamtkunstwerk: She is both one and many, spectacular and exhibitionistic, intangible and anonymous. Because she always wears a mask
and wig, her identity remains unknown. Her works refer to an enormous variety
of dance and performance styles – from modern dance to drag show, historical feminist performance art, striptease, porn and burlesque. Wearing costumes that sometimes border on the grotesque – with doll’s heads, cloth vaginas and merkins (genital wigs) – she transforms herself into one of a broad range of characters, including historical personae (Marie Antoinette, Josephine Baker, The Supremes), cultural stereotypes (Russian Matryoshka dolls, African-American nanny), or global workers (stripper, waitress, market woman). She subverts clichés from mass culture by seeming to affirm them; the nakedness of the figures remains masked and her characters fragmented.

Courtesy Narcissister

Format
video, colour, sound, 5:50 min

Issue date
2009

Tags
de/construct identities, femininity, gaze, masculinity, masquerade, pleasure, queer/drag, voyeurism

Archive Signature
NAR 2