Last Monday, after hours at the CAG, Hadley+Maxwell invited me, Nicole Lefaivre and Geoffrey Farmer to partake in a performance of sorts. We were asked because of our close personal relations with them, but also for professional reasons: me as the curator of the CAG and the one with the key, Nicole for her wit and skill with hair and make up and Geoffrey as an artist and for his focus.  The basic premise of the performance/intervention was to capture an 18th century art critic walking through the current exhibition, An Invitation to an Infiltration, which Hadley+Maxwell are participating in.  Hadley performed in drag dressed in an elaborate period costume with lace ruffles, a puffy shirt, an embroidered gold and green three quarter length jacket, white seamed tights and bows and buckles for her shoes. Her hair was sprayed white, and teased up and pulled back with two perfectly rolled curls on each side of her head.

We drank sparkling wine and ate cheese while Hadley wondered through the gallery interacting or not with the works, sometimes on the extreme of either levels of engagement. Her persona often appeared detached, walking by works without taking notice or, on the other side, “he” was kicking the work, stepping on it or crumpling it. The great difference between the critic’s two levels of interaction made him seem desperate.  He needed to connect with the work, but was unable to appropriately engage with it. In an attempt to correct his failing attempts he turned to perversion. And this is when Maxwell became the performer. Under the influence of Viagra and left alone with Hadley, he started to “engage” with the work. This was all captured on video, which in edited form may or may not be available at the gallery for viewing. But you can definitely get a glimpse of it this Saturday because Hadley+Maxwell are giving a presentation on their performance at the Or Gallery. See their website for the details:

Jenifer Papararo


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Filed under Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions

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