HARP

(HERE Artist Residency Program)

GENET PORNO Yvan Greenberg/Laboratory Theater

Show Description

GENET PORNO is based on Jean Genet’s 1943 novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, deemed pornographic when first published for its explicit homosexuality and depraved criminality, and follows the loves and betrayals of a cross-dressing gay prostitute named Divine. In GENET PORNO, the ‘impossible ballet’ of Divine’s story is staged within, and transformed by, the production of a present-day gay porn video based on narrative elements from the confessional videoblog of a real-life porn star. Their stories merge as GENET PORNO explores our contemporary culture of narcissism, our relationship to pornography, and the consequences that result from blurring the lines between our public and private lives.

GENET PORNO IS COMING
WORLD PREMIERE
SEPTEMBER 9–26, 2015 @ HERE

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Artist Bio

Laboratory Theater is a Brooklyn-based experimental theater ensemble dedicated to the creation of original, interdisciplinary work. Under the vision and direction of Greenberg, the company creates multi-layered projects that blur the distinctions between dance and theater through an organic comingling of texts, choreography, immersive soundscapes, improvisation, indeterminate structures, and video. Laboratory Theater's non-didactic but radically political aesthetic challenges standard ideas of form and process, creating performances which place primary focus on the presence of the performer and his/her relationship with the audience.

Yvan Greenberg founded Laboratory Theater in 2001 and has directed the ensemble in eleven original pieces. His work has been presented in New York by PS 122, The Brick Theater, Dixon Place, The Tank, HERE Arts Center, chashama, New Dramatists, The Performing Garage, The Knitting Factory, and Movement Research, among others. Greenberg received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2006. In 2007, Laboratory Theater helped Dixon Place initiate and establish their on-going artist residency program. In addition to his work with Laboratory Theater, he has directed Una Corda, a solo performance ritual written & performed by Austin-based artist kt shorb, (premiered September 2010 at Blue Theater in Austin, Texas) and Murphy, an experimental music-theater piece by composer Corey Dargel and playwright Honor Molloy, (awarded the New Dramatists’ 2007 Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theater). Greenberg has choreographed two other pieces by Dargel, Thirteen Near-Death Experiences (PS 122, NYC, 2009), and Removable Parts (HERE Arts Center, NYC, 2008), directed by Emma Griffin. He has recently collaborated with composer Eve Beglarian on The Sirens, or Pleasure as part of her RiverProject at Abrons Art Center, NYC in January 2012.

Artist Statement

The search for spiritual transcendence in a world of chaos and violence is an ongoing, primary theme of my work. I am interested in characters that live on the fringes of society, “outsiders” who struggle against ruthless societal structures and are forced to forge unique paths through their environments. My approach is similar, attempting to explore a space between forms, something—not quite dance, not quite theater—which combines intimate, personal, and socially relevant material with a formality and abstraction associated with choreography, to create a challenging, immersive experience for both audience and performer. 

As a gay artist, I have become increasingly interested in gay artists from the past, who feel like my forebears and part of my aesthetic lineage. GENET PORNO is the second piece in a trilogy of works I am creating with Laboratory Theater, based on influential 20th century gay authors/novels: William S. Burroughs, Jean Genet, and Andy Warhol. The most recently completed piece, GIT ALONG LIL DOGGIES (2010), was based primarily on Burroughs’ novel The Place of Dead Roads, and explored the idea of the cowboy outlaw, living off the land on the edge of society, as a metaphor for queerness, being a gay artist. With Genet’s novel, I’m continuing that exploration of outsider-status as specific to pornography, featuring outsider characters who are porn stars, cross-dressing gay prostitutes, and criminals. The next novel I’m planning to examine in line with this series is Andy Warhol’s novel a (actually the transcript of a 24-hour tape recording from the life of Warhol superstar Ondine). Warhol’s “novel” is a verbatim portrait of the coterie of outcasts that peopled Warhol’s Silver Factory in the mid- to late-1960’s, and also happens to be the portrait of a fringe gay subculture from that era that ran 24/7 on amphetamines. These three 20th century gay artists all wrote novels that seem to occupy a distinct and radical perspective on the edge of normal society. GENET PORNO emerges partially from my interest in connecting those perspectives and influences to my own work as a gay theater artist.

Project Feed

I have recorded most of my personal life on camera, so doing porn feels like a natural extension…

From Lucas Entertainment's press release of “Chris Crocker's Raw Love,” featuring the bareback film debut of recording artist, comedian and viral video star Chris Crocker: “Performing for Lucas Entertainment feels like my true debut in gay porn in many ways,”...

CAM4Genet Episode Four

Take a peek at our brand new episode of CAM4Genet to hear from Director/Choreographer Yvan Greenberg about the making of GENET PORNO. Click here to make it grow bigger.

Help us get under your skin! Join GENET PORNO in November…

This past January, we performed the first 40 minutes of GENET PORNO in HERE’s 2013 CULTUREMART Festival for two packed houses. It offered us the opportunity to try out some production elements and polish the beginning of the piece. And...

GENET PORNO #rehearsal Vines

First two #rehearsal Vines!   #whoawoketodesire?   #churchchoiroftheflesh