Come Again: Seattle Erotic Art Festival, 2010 Edition
Last night, I attended the opening night of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, which runs through this Sunday at Seattle Center. A focal point of Seattle’s self-identified sex positive counterculture since its inception in 2002, the festival has been making bold attempts in recent years to make inroads into more mainstream local art circles, primarily through the inclusion of curator invited visual artists and prominent guest jurors. Last year I was among the artists invited by guest curator Sharon Arnold. This year the duty of guest curator moved to Chris Crites, but Sharon (who served as a guest juror this year) has been promoting the festival by means of an essay in City Arts Magazine and posts about the curator invited artists on her blog Dimensions Variable. Like last year, the results were a mixed bag. Smart, sexy art commingled freely with odd, näively rendered figures and bland erotica by the kind of photographers who sign their mats. All of which are approximately equally endearing after approximately two and a half cocktails.
Last year I left the opening before the performances started. This year I stuck around and was rewarded with Cabaret de Curiosités, a variety show starring basically everyone who’s anyone in Seattle burlesque. For me, the highlight of the show was performance artist/burlesque clown Queen Shmooquan. If you haven’t seen the Queen before, I dare say you haven’t properly lived. I sincerely believe that she is one of the finest artists in any medium that Seattle has ever produced. This time, the Queen was in rare form. Literally. As in, she’s about nine months pregnant.
Jeppa Hall, the twistedly brilliant mind behind Queen Shmooquan, is about to go on hiatus from performing her beloved character, perhaps indefinitely. Thankfully, you have two chances to catch her critically acclaimed full-length spectacular before she pops: this Thursday, May 6 at the Rendezvous and Saturday, May 13 at the Can Can.
For the rest of these wonders, you’ll just have to see them for yourself this weekend at SEAF!