After five years and three locations around Los Angeles, notorious Show Cave night gallery closes with a gleefully gynocentric event entitled “Licker License.” Show Cave has pioneered new territory in video exhibition and distribution — those are flash drives covering the curator's nipples in the photo above — and has been a staunch supporter of the most innovative and wild performers, in town and around the world. (See our Show Cave piece from our Best of L.A. issue last year: “Best Venue to Explore the Fringes of the Underground.”)
As a hybrid video and performance exhibition, “Licker License” embodies the Show Cave aesthetic with an all female cast of artists who challenge traditional notions of art, gender, and feminism. Show Cave's Hazel Hill McCarthy III, who curated “Licker License” and toured with the exhibition from Amsterdam to Berlin to Mexico City before bringing it home to LA, sent us the following juicy tidbits via email as she criss-crossed the globe screening home-made porn and plastic surgery documentation, all in the name of contemporary art.
What's the idea behind “Licker License”?
I got the idea for “Licker License” from Denzel Washington really [it's a quote from “Training Day”]. I thought about all the amazing artists around me and wanted to highlight the work of phenomenal people…women, men and beings.
“Licker License” is a touring one-night event with all-female video and performance artists featuring video by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (of the bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic T.V.), Nicola Kuperus (Adult), Kristy Fenton (Modern Witch), Kathleen Daniel, Laura Brothers, Pheobe Collings-James, Actually Huizenga, Adriana Estrada, Stellar Om Source, Bobbi Woods and myself.
Where has the “Licker License” tour taken you so far?
The tour has been in Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, London, and Mexico City. The next date is the closing of the Eagle Rock physical location of Show Cave on the 17th. Then New York!
What sort of trouble have you gotten into on this tour?
Food poisoning in Milan… and Kristy (Modern Witch) fell through the stage.
What has this experience taught you about the female condition?
We cum to dominate the digital divide.
Why is the Show Cave era coming to an end?
Show Cave has had many skins in L.A. We're trying to find the next new skin that will fit our evolving projects.
How has Show Cave affected L.A.'s artistic landscape?
I think Show Cave has highlighted many interesting artists that would normally not find a place in LA to feel at home. Eric Nordhauser has been a huge instrument in bringing bands like White Ring, Gatekeeper, //Tense// and Light Asylum into the fold of L.A.
How does the legacy of LA's Show Cave affect the work you do abroad?
By Show Cave shedding it's skin of the physical space in Eagle Rock it leaves us open to expand our presence across the globe. There are so many possibilities for traveling shows beyond the video series already done and dusted like “Sliders” and
All of the amazing artists we've worked with in the past five years are and always will be a part of the spirit of Show Cave and where we go next. Show Cave is with us and moves among us in flesh and in spirit…All ways!
“Licker License” closing event will take place on Friday, June 17 at Show Cave, 3501 Eagle Rock Blvd. www.showcave.org