This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Nayland Blake

Nayland Blake’s “Knee Deep in the Flooded Victory” will include a special performance on July 12, “The Residue of a Thousand Hugs” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

International Center of Photography
1133 Sixth Ave. at 43rd St.
Friday, July 12, pay what you wish, 7:00

For ICP’s excellent triennial exhibition, “A Different Kind of Order,” which explores the impact of digital imagery on socioeconomic and political photography, native New Yorker Nayland Blake has contributed the site-specific “Knee Deep in the Flooded Victory,” which is installed in the corner by the café and the bathrooms. The artist, writer, instigator, and educator went through ICP’s archives to examine the long relationship between gay culture and Times Square, bringing together photographs and documents with works by his ICP MFA students. The pieces hang on the wall and are lined up in a citrine in the hallway, but make sure to turn the corner, where a boombox plays a discussion and T-shirts proclaim “gender neutral bathroom” amid a colorful, cloudlike atmosphere. On July 12, Blake will perform “The Residue of a Thousand Hugs,” as he takes on the persona of drag queen Victorya Spectre, described as “an elaborately costumed figure meant to evoke the queer royalty of New York’s past,” and leads a procession “through the sites of Times Square’s vanished gay adult theaters and cruising spots.” Anyone can join in on the special triennial commission and experience what should be a wacky tour with serious underpinnings. In conjunction with the installation and performance, Blake has created a related tumblr site that continues his themes with more photographs, videos, letters, articles, and other paraphernalia.

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