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House of Whacks 

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Photo by Harris From Paris

Man-nuns, lady-priests, chain gangs and the usual latex-and-leather louches had the run of the VARIETY ARTS CENTER’s four floors (perhaps it should be renamed the Variety Farts Center — the stairwells stank like SPINAL TAP’s classic “Break Like the Wind”) at the 10th annual FETISH BALL (pictured), where DJs JAMES STONE, JASON LAVITT, ALLEN TG and DAVID TG whipped out techno-industrial beats. One rather large fellow was evidently on the “fetish weight-loss program” as he sweated off pound after pound in a vinyl pinstripe suit. We don’t even want to think about what that must have smelled like by the end of the evening. The lookie-loos — of which there were a fair number — got an eyeful as a beautiful, buff master lightly whipped then dripped wax onto the derriere of one deserving female subject as he gained her confidence with kisses. He then placed a candle on her rump, creating a waterfall of wax on the small of her back, which her master sensually shaved off with a barber’s razor. Gives a whole new meaning to waxing! Getting their fetishes off were sex columnist ANKA RADAKOVICH, designer JOHN CHIRPIS, interior designer RON MEYERS, and Cherry dancers VIOLET, HOMER and RUSSELL, all of whom were entranced by LUCIFIRE, the fire-eating femme fatale who made love to her flame. Her smoldering tryst came to an abrupt end, though, when she snuffed the blaze out on her crotch. That’s one hot-to-trot chick!

—J.V. McAuley

The Blinding Light of the Presumptuous Assumption

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It was hardly the “AARP rave” that assemblagist/saw player GEORGE HERMS suggested, though the CHURCH OF ART’s grand-opening performance concatenation did seem a bit heavy on the incredibly-talented-old-white-guy tip. High Priest of Horn Honking LLYN FOULKES, in whose Brewery loft it took place, blessed the crowd with “Chocolate Jesus” and other sacred/scary hymns on his music machine, while NORTON WISDOM created a morphing painting on backlit plexi; sculptor ROLAND REISS turned down an “art star” contract with MAT “The Devil” GLEASON; and mind-bender THE DARK BOB preached a surreal sermon to the choir. Besides OSSEUS LABYRINT’s HANNAH SIM and MARK STEGER, twitching beautifully nude as hanging flesh sculptures amid the congregation, other movers/shakers included soon-to-be-wed painter VITO LoRUSSO, lovely gallerist PATRICIA FAURE, Norton Simon curatorial assistant MICHELLE DEZIEL, and PAUL KARLSTROM of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Meanwhile, cruising the crowd were an Art Garfunkel look-alike; two nuns whose habits rolled up like shades to show their shaved, uh, oracles of orgasm; a guy wearing black feathered wings; body-jewelry importer BORNEO JOE; and SuperHappyBunny furniture designer HAYES URBAN. We confess, Father ZORTHIAN, oh art-world elder, we had a fine time communioning. Next time, though, how ’bout a few more pews?

—Constance Monaghan

Last Dance

For the finale of Ur-Boor, RACHEL ROSENTHAL’s last solo piece, she finished the evening off with a mean danse russe, the perfect end to a performance full of heady ideas about civility and boorishness. Rosenthal takes on the weight of the world and tries to process it, speaking in English, quoting in French, cursing in Russian. Trapped in a talking, farting spaceship jail cell, Rosenthal, who’s 73 years old and has been high-profile in the performance-art scene since the ’50s, examined the etiquette of civilization post–Adam and Eve right up to the Lakers’ victory riot (talk about your ur-boors). Perhaps the naughtiest line of the show was “Since no one can see me up here, I could dildo my ass and watch it in a mirror.” No rest for the wicked: Rosenthal and Co. packed up immediately for the next show in Toronto, and will be bidding adieu in various cities over the next year. In attendance at LATC were JOHN FLECK, who’s currently in the play The Berlin Circle; performance artist RYAN HILL; cooty cat CAROL CETRONE; bon vivant Mitch Handsone with Lydia Szamraj; Guitar Boy’s ANN PERICH; actor JUAN FERNANDEZ; O.C. gallerist SKEITH DeWINE; city of L.A. AIDS coordinator and spoken-word artist FERD EGGAN; Circle Elephant Art’s BERT W. GREEN; and electro-musician and computer geek BILL VAN ROOY. She wouldn’t be Rachel Rosenthal if she hadn’t championed animal rights and railed against the meat industry, but minutes later at the after-party, to everyone’s shock, were trays of fried chicken wings and poached salmon on the buffet table. Now that’s good manners!

—Ron Athey

Wild Wymyn With Steak Knives

Perhaps voodoo performance impresario MARCUS KUILAND-NAZARIO was inspired to premiere his live-art lab POP TARTS on the Eastside because a bunch of whiny friends complained about the trek to HIGHWAYS in Santa Monica, where his performance smorgasbord has been firmly entrenched on a quasi-regular basis for the past six years. Whatever the reason, we were happy to find ourself among the eerily black-lit bar moss at the SILVERLAKE LOUNGE recently for an evening of unmitigated geek-girl-power music featuring nonsensical vocalist and toy maestro ANNA HOMLER with Fat & Fucked Up cellist MICHAEL INTRIERE, bubbly cotton-candy popsters KITTENFREAKY (starring CINDY POP, VIVA LA KITTY and ELEANOR MEOW), the high-pitched whine of GUITAR BOY with some kick-ass dulcimer by GB’s ANN PERICH, a special Flag Day song by our favorite Armenian Princess Freak NANCY AGABIAN, and appearances by MARK STEGER and HANNAH SIM of OSSEUS LABYRINT. Locals and cross-neighborhood artists out for a clubby evening — where the performers had to compete with the audience to be heard — included Houseworks doyen and co-founder of the now-defunct Sacred Nature Naked Girls LAURA MEYERS, Butoh-istas JAMIE BURRIS and DONA LEONARD, performer and surfer dude PETER SCHROFF, vocalist BARNES, photographer TRACY MOSTOVOY and visual artist KELLY MAXXX. Between sets, fashionista ELLIOT SIEGEL spun ’60s and ’70s girl rock. With tinny odes to Jigglypuffs and Kmart, it was as if the POWERPUFF GIRLS decided to rock out — with a toy guitar, of course. Geekgrrrls rule!

—Sara Wolf

Edited by Kateri Butler

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