A Woman of Many Parts, Some Exposed
POSTED ON 2/06/2007 | PERMALINK |0 Comments | BOOKMARK
julie atlas muz

"OUCH, ouch, ouuuccch,” Julie Atlas Muz moaned from the floor of P.S. 122 last Saturday. She was on a break from the final rehearsal for her first solo show, and the process was taking its toll. This even though Ms. Muz, the burlesque dancer and downtown performance artist, is in enviable shape, creatively and physically. Hers is almost certainly the only résumé that includes the Whitney Biennial (2004), the Valencia Bienal (2005) and the Miss Exotic World and Miss Coney Island pageants. (She is the reigning crown-holder for both.)

But the last few weeks have required more contortion than ever. As she completed preparations for her show, “Divine Comedy of an Exquisite Corpse,” in the East Village, patrons were flocking to the Deitch Projects gallery in SoHo for the final days of “Womanizer,” her first foray into visual art. With Kembra Pfahler, Ms. Muz was curator for the exhibition, which included her large, glossy, (very) intimate self-portraits. As she shuttled between these projects and her regular gigs at places like Joe’s Pub, she also packed up her body glitter and custom-made false eyelashes to appear on television in London and in two sold-out shows with Margaret Cho in Chicago. “This has been the most intense work period of my life,” Ms. Muz said. “I’ve just been an art android.”

“She has a Grand Guignol aesthetic,” said Kate Valentine, a friend and longtime collaborator who directed “Exquisite Corpse.” Intended as a reflection on suicide, terrorism and fear, it offers a sly meditation on the power of femininity in the face of aging and death. At one moment, Ms. Muz is unhappily examining her few lumpy bits in an enormous mirror; at another, she is shoving a naked baby doll in the freezer, pouring a shot of (real) tequila and handling a (fake) AK-47 with the panache of a sexy villain. It’s not just a tease; it’s a kiss-off.
I saw "Divine Comedy of an Exquisite Corpse" last Friday and I intend to see it again before it closes. It was dark and intense and funny...spellbinding.
more muz @ wtg:

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