THEM: Performance & Conversation with Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper and Chris Cochrane
Performance Space New York
Photo © Dona Ann McAdams
Performance Space New York remounts THEM, a 1986 performance by Ishmael Houston-Jones with Dennis Cooper and Chris Cochrane. On June 27, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper and Chris Cochrane will be in conversation with Visual AIDS Programs Director Alex Fialho.
The AIDS epidemic had a devastating, lasting impact on the downtown artist community. Some of Performance Space New York’s most influential artists (John Bernd, Ethyl Eichelberger, Ron Vawter, David Wojnarowicz, among many others) died prematurely, leaving a gaping hole in this community and a subsequent generation without important mentorship. When Ishmael Houston-Jones first started working on THEM at Performance Space 122 in 1985, with a text by Dennis Cooper and a cacophonous live electric guitar score by Chris Cochrane, it was intended to be a poetic and frank coming-of-age story of gay men. By the time it was first premiered at PS122 in 1986, AIDS was ravaging queer communities, and the artists felt it would be disingenuous not to address it in the work. They consequently included coded allusions to the epidemic and turned THEM into one of the most haunting pieces of art that came out of the early AIDS years.
Conceived, directed, and performed by Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper, Ishmael Houston-Jones
Featuring Alvaro Gonzalez Dupuy, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Michael Parmelee, Jeremy Pheiffer, Kensaku Shinohara, Michael Watkiss, and Hentyle Yapp
- June 21 7:30pm
- June 22 7:30pm
- June 23 3pm & 7:30pm
- June 25 7:30pm
- June 26 7:30pm
- June 27 7:30pm
- June 28 7pm