photo: Michelle Blioux

For the last few months I have been at work on a brand new project, Instrument,  a solo performance created in an experimental process with three choreographers: Chris Black, Miguel Gutierrez and Amy Seiwert. Instigated by discussions with curators at the de Young Museum during my fellowship there, especially about their current exhibition Rudolph Nureyev: a Life in Dance, I invited the three choreographers to create movement on my body that I shaped into the final piece. The work looks at the performing artist’s slippery relationship to authorship and authority; and at dancing as an act of translation and creation. It has been a thrill to put my work in the hands of these incredibly talented artists. Our studio process has been incredibly rich and crazily fun.

Please join me to see the results.

November 29 – December 9        Thu – Sun      8PM     CounterPULSE

More information below – Tickets here

Instrument, the new solo by Monique Jenkinson exploits the vibrancy of the body in the ever-dying moment of live performance. Created in an experimental collaboration with three choreographers – Miguel Gutierrez, Chris Black, and Amy Seiwert – Instrument enacts, exposes and undermines the roles of dancer as workhorse and choreographer as auteur. The artist’s slippery relationship to authority and authorship is a major theme, as is the dancing body as translator, container of knowledge and preserver of culture.

In her unique voice, dancer/performance artist Jenkinson (aka Fauxnique), calls upon ballet hero Rudolph Nureyev, Performance Art heroes of the 60s and 70s, and current discussions about ‘the body as archive’ to create a collage of iconic movement, historical anecdote, and personal narrative. Instrument highlights the intersections of ballet and post-modern endurance performance – especially with regard to pushing the body to, through, and from exhaustion to create art.

With dramaturgy by Selby Wynn Schwartz, costumes by Andrea Cammarosano, light by Tiffani Snow, and sound design by Marc Kate.

In conjunction with Rudolph Nureyev: A Life in Dance at the de Young Museum, and supported by the de Young Museum’s Artist Fellows Program and partner organizations CounterPULSE and Dancers’ Group. Instrument is made possible in part by the generosity of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.

Here’s a recap of Spring & Summer

Making Scenes/Our People at the de Young

As part of my Irvine Fellowship at the de Young, I curated Making Scenes and created ‘Our People’

The piece started as a discussion about Jean Paul Gaultier and his politics of inclusion vs. his propensity for appropriation.
My brilliant collaborators included the legendary & incredibly talented Helen Shumaker

Helen Shumaker by Adrain Arias

and the wonderful Maryam Rostami, Rotimi Agbabiaka, Carlos Venturo, Lambert Moss & Joseph Copley

Maryam Rostami, Monique Jenkinson & Rotimi Agbabiaka by Adrian Arias

The evening featured the dancey art-pop stylings of Tim Carr, the immaculate DJ tastes of Stanley Frank, Down-E and Bear Z. Bub, and, an incredible collaboration between Seth Eisen and club Some Thing’s ‘Project Runtover’ in which KIDS GOT TO DRESS DRAG QUEENS!

festooning Honey Mahogany by Adrian Arias

In May & June, ‘Faux Real’ went to Stanford, Seattle, and ODC’s inaugural Walking Distance Dance Festival

June saw a reprise of  ‘Beautility’, my site-specific dance installation for the staircase at City Hall’s Rotunda, in conjunction with Dancers’ Group and Dance USA

I was featured in a fantastic article in San Francisco Magazine.
(the print version featured a two-page close-up photo – a rarity in this age)

Soon I leave for Berlin and Düsseldorf where I will represent as part of the US delegation at Tanzmesse

This the Fall I begin work on ‘Instrument’ – an experiment in collaboration with amazing choreographers  Miguel Gutierrez, Chris Black and Amy Seiwert, and dramaturg Selby Wynn Schwartz.
Incredibly exciting.
Premiering at CounterPULSE November 30
In progress and creation at the de Young and CounterPULSE Sept – Nov
Generously funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The de Young Fellowship continues

Kimball Education Gallery de Young Museum

I am in residence at the de Young’s Kimball Education Gallery creating ‘Instrument’
September 5-30 Wed – Sun 1- 5PM (Friday until 8:30PM) with selected hours (TBA) for discussion/sharing of open process.

September 15 2PM
the de Young, Dancers’ Group, CounterPULSE and I will host Dance Discourse Project Series #13: Working in Museums

Friday Sept 28 6PM (showing at 7)
Closing Reception/Work in Progress showing

October Friday Night TBA
Work In Progress showing of Instrument

Maryam Rostami & Monique Jenkinson by Adrian Arias

merman Joseph Copley by Adrian Arias

Runtover results: Vivvyanne Forevermore, Lil Miss Hot Mess, Honey Mahogany, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, & Miss Raquel

My fellowship at the de Young Museum/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco begins now!

All year I will be working at the de Young – researching, creating, performing – enjoying this incredible opportunity to expand the scope and context of my work, to interact with the museum’s collections and curators, to ignite new collaborations, and to bring some of my favorite past collaborators with me to the museum.

Starting Wed 2/15  I will begin a 2-week residency at the de Young’s Kimball Education Gallery. Wed 2/15 – Sun 2/26, from 3-5PM my studio working process will be free and open to the public. I hope you will join me as I explore, plot, write, discuss, choreograph, and practice.

The museum, my collaborators and I have an ambitious and exciting year planned.

First in line is new work I am creating and performing in dialogue with the exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk and a potential performance in connection with The Cult of Beauty: the Victorian Avant Garde at the Legion of Honor.

I will keep you posted here, and through my partner organizations Dancers’ Group & CounterPULSE.

photo: Julieta Cervantes

Happy Fall. Inspiration abounds.
I have exciting news for the immediate and not-so-distant future.

First, it is my great honor to announce that I have been selected by the de Young Museum as one of their Artist Fellows for 2012.
I am beyond thrilled to have my work recognized, respected and supported in this way. This means so much.
One thing it means is that there will be many opportunities in the coming year to see my work at, and through the de Young, and presenting partners Dancers’ Group & CounterPULSE.

Many thanks to the de Young, CounterPULSE, Dancers’ Group and the  James Irvine Foundation.
Read about the 2011 Artist Fellows here.

My de Young Audience: nightlife friends & preschoolers    Photos: Daniel Kokin

‘Lip Synching Sculpture (after Gilbert & George)’ de Young Museum, 2008

Falsetta Knockers, Valentine & Fauxnique in ‘Lip Synching Sculpture’ at Gilbert & George’s opening ’08

Next month I perform Faux Real in the New Orleans Fringe Festival. I share the evening with my dear friend Vinsantos at fabulous new venue, Deity Arts.

If you are in the South, come see it y’all.
This moves me to share with you a beautiful gift Vinsantos gave me some time ago, which appears on his album A Light Awake Inside.
It’s not every day that someone you love and admire writes you a song. Enjoy it here.

And finally, it’s that time again…
Halloween would not be complete without Trannyshack, hosted by the always ghoulish duo Heklina & Peaches Christ.
I will be reprising a number inspired by one of the scariest movies ever! Saturday 10/29 DNA.

SF Pride Season is upon us, and so far the week has been glorious.

I must say, over the past couple of years, my cynicism about this event has been tempered, by, well, PRIDE — in all of my friends and fellow San Francisco citizens, and all of their brave and beautiful endeavors.

Let’s celebrate!

The weekend is packed with  Some Thing on Friday, Pink Saturday, walking in the parade with Glamamore as she honors Gertrude Stein, and then the party of the season with Juanita More! on Sunday

Then on Wednesday June 29 I premiere a brand new solo, ‘I Want What You Want.’

I am thrilled to be a part of a stunning, engaged group of artists and curators in

This Is What I Want

‘Redefining The Relationship Between Intimacy And Performance’ ( June 27 – 30)

‘I Want What You Want’ premieres in the Wednesday/Thursday program of this 4 day festival, but I highly recommend attending the Monday/ Tuesday program as well.

Tickets here. Shows will sell out!

Curated by: Jiz Lee, Jesse Hewit, Rachael Dichter, Keith Hennessy And Michelle Tea, produced by the Offcenter and co-presented with SOMARTS and the The Garage as an official presentation of QCC 2011 National Queer Arts Festival. Read about it in the SF Bay Guardian.

Lately, I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by some cool, smart people I respect. Such a luxury. Earlier this Spring, Kegan Marling wrote a truly beautiful piece, with an interview, for In Dance. We talked about artmaking as conversation, site-specificity, and the rigors of lip-synch choreography. Read it here. Then I got to talk to literary powerhouse Michelle Tea, who basically gave me my dream interview for the Radar blog before I performed (along with Keith Hennessy & Cintra Wilson) at the Radar Spectacle. Also, look for Kristin Smith’s upcoming piece in The Bold Italic.

More soon on my upcoming project choreographing and co-directing a video for a brand-spankin’ new song by Tim Carr (see the charming video for ‘Shake Your Caboose’ & hear the Never Knows remix)

And last but not least, save the date for Kate Bush VS Bjork at Trannyshack. How could you miss that?