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Friday, May 1, 2009

Hint Tip: Kembra Pfahler

The last time we saw performance artist Kembra Pfahler, she was onstage, naked (save for a big black wig and head-to-toe blue body paint), upside-down and spread-eagle, while the other body-painted girls in her mock-goth band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black took turns smashing eggs into her, um, voluptuous horror. It was more camp and fun than it sounds, but a dark message of female brutality does permeate Kembra's shows and her sardonic lyrics—as her new book documents all too vividly. Published by Deitch Projects, Beautalism chronicles the three decades of her irreverent career, up to her gobsmacking 2008 Whitney Biennial performance. It's pretty amazing stuff. So we're crossing our fingers (and legs) that Kembra might, just might, do a ditty at the launch party for Beautalism, which will also inaugurate a yearlong bookstore, ARTBOOK at X, between D.A.P. Books and the curators at X-Initiative. 548 West 22nd Street (the old Dia space), May 16, 5-7 pm...

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