Clock That Mug or Dusted
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About the Show
Clock that Mug or Dusted is a conceptual and inspirational homage to feminist performance artists from Anna Halprin to Janine Antoni, focusing on the body as a canvas for social change, rebellion and personal expansion. As Kuehner’s beloved drag/dance bio-fem icon, Cherdonna Shinatra uses birthday cake and paint to produce a work of lasting visual art, she hyperbolizes the normal humiliations of human existence. Clock that Mug or Dusted draws on vintage feminist ideals and asks – what is present day queer/drag feminism?
About Jody Kuehner
Jody Kuehner is a Seattle-based dance artist, director, and drag queen Cherdonna Shinatra. She is 2017 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient, 2017 Henry Art Gallery Artist in Residence, 2017 CityArts Artist of the year, 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner, Velocity Dance Center’s 2014 Artist in Residence, and 2010 Spotlight Award winner, and was recently funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project for one great, bright, brittle alltogetherness. Jody was Dayna Hanson’s Production Coordinator and Assistant Director 2010-2015 for various projects. She danced with Pat Graney company from 2007 – 2016 also assisting Graney’s KTF Prison Project. As Cherdonna, she performs with award-winning international sensations Kitten N’ Lou and The Atomic Bombshells.
Choreographer Jody Kuehner Performer Cherdonna Shinatra Sound Chris Williamson and Ray Conniff Original Lighting Design Evan Anderson Costume Design Danial Hellman Set Design and Prop Master Jody Kuehner and Danial Hellman Production Manager Sara Jinks
Part bio drag queen, part contemporary dance, and part performance art, Cherdonna Shinatra is a persona and company that encompasses all works choreographed and performed by Jody Kuehner. My work needles viewers into reconsidering what they believe about performance, gender, societal norms, and themselves. I am a queer, fem, female bodied, professionally trained, contemporary dancer who uses clowning, drag, theater, comedy, performance art, camp, pop culture, gay culture, dance traditions, feminist traditions, absurdity and subversive commentary to make art. I created the persona Cherdonna to explore and question these characteristics in myself and in my world.
– Jody Kuehner
What is present day queer/drag feminism: Interview with Jody Kuehner
FringeArts: What made you think up the title Clock that Mug or Dusted?
Jody Kuehner: The title came out of a drag saying that you’ve “clocked” something, meaning you’ve noticed something you like or dislike or generally want to bring attention to. This work is largely improvisational so the idea of noticing things as they come, “clocking” every moment is central. Giving “face” aka “mug,” means giving attention to. Dusted coming from the idea of putting on your face, “being dusted,” and also it’s used as a word to mean being under the influence or even death—“turning to dust.” All these layers are in the work.
FringeArts: How was creating Clock That Mug or Dusted an artistic leap or creative challenge to you?
Jody Kuehner: Using so many materials continues to be a creative challenge. Not knowing exactly how they will play in the space or what I will be inspired by, it changes with every show. The materials add a whole new cast member to the piece. I like the risk in that. It’s an unknown.
FringeArts: What has been the most satisfying thing about creating and performing this show?
Jody Kuehner: It’s maybe my most abstract work and it’s the work that is getting the most performances. I am so delighted it brings curiosity and intrigue to new audiences. It’s definitely a polarizing work. Also, because the materials change, as does the amount of improvisation in the work, it’s a forever evolving animal. It’s never the same and it’s structure has made it a work that could keep evolving and never reach any kind of limit.
FringeArts: What have you worked on most in fine-tuning Clock That Mug or Dusted?
Jody Kuehner: The thing I have to work on the most is being present. Responding in the moment to the audience and the elements. If I get too in my head or lose my sense of play, the work dies. It’s a continual practice in not showing but being.
FringeArts: In your description you write that the work draws “on vintage feminist ideals to find what present day queer/drag feminism might be.” Can you tell us a little about how the “might be” of the present—rather than the “is”—was what you felt important to explore?
Jody Kuehner: I think because we are in a time where everything has been done, where politically we have come far and also not come far at all, things are changing all the time. What was once very risky/dramatic/radical is not anymore. And also those things can still be that radical depending on where you live. So, this is a question I am exploring. I don’t think we can say queerness is this or drag is that, it’s changing every second. I wonder how I fit in? How does one be a queer feminist today? It “is” many things but it’s always changing so I don’t feel I can speak about it definitively. Especially around queerness and gender politics it might be something today and then we learn something and it changes tomorrow.
The presentation of Clock that Mug or Dusted was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Coming Up at FringeArts
Bechdel Test Fest
THE BECHDEL TEST FEST GETS READY FOR ITS THIRD YEAR
The Bechdel Test Fest, a comedy festival celebrating Philadelphia’s women and trans comedians, is returning for the third year in a row in a big way. The Bechdel Test Fest is excited to announce its expansion to a three-day festival taking place at three different venues across the city, including its debut at FringeArts for the Saturday night performances, to highlight Philadelphia’s funniest women and trans comedians. Last year’s festival included over 130 performers across 60 acts within improv, stand-up, clowning, sketch, and more including comedy mainstays such as The N Crowd, ManiPedi, and Alyssa Al-Dookhi.
Join us at FringeArts on Saturday, March 3rd for a night of sketch comedy from 7-11pm and the open mic afterparty in La Peg! Tickets available for each performance or the full evening.
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