Arts / Galleries

Dallas’ Arty Neighborhood Turned Townhouse Mecca Rediscovers its Roots With Compelling New Show

Powerful Contemporary Queer Performance Practices Will Make You Think

BY // 09.16.19

As nondescript after nondescript half-million-dollar townhomes pop up in every vacant spot in the once very edgy, very other-side of the tracks (or in this case, the other-side of I-30) neighborhood, The Cedars — a few arts organizations exist to remind new residents of the arts pioneers who homesteaded decades ago. One of those, The MAC, proclaims itself loudly via its blue exterior on Ervay Street.

The organization strives to bring to Dallas artists and exhibitions that may not otherwise be seen in our region. With the show currently on view, Cosmic to Corporeal: Contemporary Queer Performance Practices, it looks like they are succeeding in that noble endeavor. After an international open call, curator Liss LaFleur, selected works by an impressive roster including Christian Cruz, Chuck + George Zackary Drucker, fierce pussy, and ATOM-r (the Anatomical Theaters of Mixed Reality).

Performances will occur regularly through the run of the show to complement time-based, photographic, and sculptural works that redefine popular and often provincial views of performance art. One artist, Jer’Lisa Devezin, utilizes heavy, loud, delicate, strong, precious and sharp materials in her performances and videos that reference her own physical body and the stereotypes often placed upon black women. She brings a new perspective by depicting a new black woman, one from a millennial black lesbian woman’s gaze instead of choosing to fixate on the oppression of black women.

This is powerful and thought-provoking material that’s on point with the greater dialogue that is finally occurring in our country. The Cedars seems to be the perfect location for this exhibition — a neighborhood poised on gentrification and an identity change. Some might say it’s a change for the better, but others might say that it’s an awful move to the middle.

Cosmic to Corporeal: Contemporary Queer Performance Practices at MAC, on view September 21 through November 9, 2019 with an opening reception this Saturday, September 21 from 6 to 9 pm, including a performance by Jer’Lisa Devezin at 7 pm, the-mac.org.

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