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The News - An Evening of Fresh, Queer Performance

SOMArts Cultural Center

San Francisco, CA

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Event Details


On the first Tuesday of each month The News, presented by SOMArts Cultural Center, features new, queer work by Bay Area artists. The News is a monthly cabaret evening that spotlights 10-minute or less performance pieces, experiments, and works in progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups, or troupes.

On March 3rd Lisa Ganser, Gentry McShane and Lorin Murphy of Periwinkle Cinema guest curate short movies with live soundtracks for The News. The evening will include new work by AJA, Annah Anti-Palindrome, Beast Nest (Sharmi Basu), Lisa Ganser, Peter Max Lawrence, Sofia Moreno and Julie Thi Underhill.

Register for The News: Queer Performance Series in San Francisco, CA  on Eventbrite

The nature of The News is to give artists access to critical space for risk-taking in performance. In addition to artists selected by a guest curator, a “wild card” performer or two appears in each line-up at The News. “Wild cards” are artists who may not have been selected by the guest curators, but join in the evening to share new work. Artists interested in performing as a “wild card” at The News can find more information here.

Beast Nest (Sharmi Basu)

Annah Anti-Palindrome is a Bay Area based musician/Optical Sound-Smith, writer, and queer/femme antagonist who hails from the working-class craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more! Anti-Palindrome presents at The News, “a brand new video for this song I wrote, about the ways in which we consume each others stories, witness each others lives, and regurgitate each others experiences back through our individual art and art-making processes. I wanna explore how being inspired and influenced by each others work is, in and of itself, an act of participating in a living-breathing-growing, contemporary queer archive.” Anti-Palindrome is an established artist and new to creating videos/movies.

AJA – biography forthcoming

Beast Nest is Sharmi Basu’s primary performing project. Basu is a queer South Asian woman of color creating experimental music as a means of decolonizing our musical language. She attempts to catalyze a political, yet ethereal aesthetic by combining her anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics with a commitment to spirituality within the arts. Beast Nest utilizes an unwavering depression and restrained horror to channel left-eyed spirits. While simultaneously clearing and entering, the sewage pipes of the body and the patriarchy congeal into watery soundscapes as a vehicle for achieving liberation through the darkest of fears.

Lisa Ganser is an artist, activist and odd jobber that lives in San Francisco with mental illness and brain injury. They are an established filmmaker, youth media enabler and film & video curator that strives for accessibility in all things, putting the crayons back in people’s hands.  Ganser provides Access Support for Periwinkle Cinema and the Idriss Stelley Foundation and identifies as a genderqueer

Ganser’s Artist Statement: “Stars Out” by Lisa Ganser (trt 4:30)  is a song by ganser/lamm (the musical duo of Lisa Ganser and Nomy Lamm) and is performed live vocally by Ganser. Stars Out” is a meditative reflection about the trauma that happens when the people we trust abuse their power. It is about surviving. It is a healing circle for those who have lost Loved Ones to police violence. This song is dedicated to Kat Espinosa and Mesha Irizarry, while verses are sung directly to their sons Asa Sullivan and Idriss Stelley. The visuals have been created specifically for this performance at The News and include images from the Amor for Alex/Justice 4 Alex Nieto movement. This is the first time this song is ever performed live and is in preparation for a Sins Invalid performance March 9th at UC Berkeley. Credits: Ganser would like to thank Nomy Lamm who wrote, performed and recorded the music/backing vocals; lyrics by Ganser.

Peter Max Lawrence is a content-maker. Born in Topeka, adopted soon thereafter and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, he currently lives and works in Lucas, Kansas. Over the course of his life, he has created a large and diverse body of work, exploring a wide variety of approaches, media and themes. Lawrence’s visual art, performances and videos have been presented internationally in venues ranging from basement bathrooms to major museums. Among some recent works of note are “The Battle of the Last Goodbye,” a massive installation composed of thousands of paintings, videos and sculptures situated among a collaborative two-person exhibition AT WAR with artist and poet Truong Tran, a 2012 Commons Curatorial Residency exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center. “QUEER in KANSAS” is his critically acclaimed autobiographical short film that screened at Frameline and several other international film festivals. The experimental short “de Young,” which was created while working as an artist-in-residence at the museum, was later featured on KQED’s Truly California. In addition he has also directed music videos for Carletta Sue Kay and Krystle Warren. Currently he is the curator for “The One” and “Art Thieves” as well as developing a slew of collaborations with other musicians, artists and

Sofia Moreno was born and raised in Coahuila, Mexico. In 1994 she immigrated to the United States, where she currently lives and works. Prior to moving to Chicago, Moreno lived in Dallas, Texas. Moreno is a multimedia artist and her subjects include expressions of the sacred and profane, the body, sexuality, religion and socio-political issues within contemporary culture. Moreno is currently working on the follow up to her three-year project “P o r n A g a i n.” “I’m interested in the essence of the body rather than the form itself. I paint a sexually and spiritually confused youth,” said Moreno.


Julie Thi Underhill, born to a Chăm-French refugee mother from Việt Nam and US civilian contractor father stationed in Việt Nam, inherited competing narratives about the American War, not only from her parents but also from historical and cultural accounts. Today Underhill is an artist-scholar-activist who often investigates colonialism and wars in Southeast Asia. Since media coverage of the American War in Việt Nam seemed to humanize the “enemy” for the US public while galvanizing the antiwar movement, Underhill notices that the banning of similar coverage of Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts has anesthetized the US public to the atrocities of current wars. Underhill currently teaches Native American literature at UC Berkeley, where she’s pursuing her doctoral degree with a focus on transnational Chăm history, memory, and culture. Underhill holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and an MA from UC Berkeley. For over 15 years, her creative work has incorporated film/video, photography, essay, poetry and fine

Underhill’s Artist statement: “Our Exquisite Corpse” by Underhill (trt 9:28) is a haunting meditation on the creation and dehumanization of the enemy during warfare, in the moment when the living pass forcibly into the realm of the dead. In this short experimental documentary, the poetic sunprints made by trees, wind, and the annular eclipse in May 2012 are interrupted by classified cockpit footage of a July  2007 airstrike in Iraq. To “see” someone as an enemy, in warfare, relies upon both their visibility as target coordinates and their invisibility as human. And yet to “see” someone as worthy of mourning, after death, is predicated upon their humanity. Thi Underhill performs a live soundtrack to this film, accompanied by Peter Broderick and helicopter cockpit. “Our Exquisite Corpse” invites us to consider how the recognition of the enemy’s humanity is a necessary haunting for those whose governments rely upon public complicity in order to wage war. Credits: written, produced, directed, and edited in 2013 by Julie Thi Underhill; audiovisuals provided by Underhill, Chelsea Manning, and Wikileaks; with thanks to Peter Broderick & Machinefabriek for use of music.

Images top to bottom: Sophia Moreno pictured, photo by Xara Thustra; Beast Nest (Sharmi Basu) pictured; Julie Thi Underhill pictured

Have questions about The News - An Evening of Fresh, Queer Performance? Contact SOMArts Cultural Center

When & Where

SOMArts Cultural Center
934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 7:30 PM - Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 9:00 PM (PST)

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