This Is What I Want: Queer Performance Festival Highlights

Dia Dear

Queer performance hub SOMArts kicked off its annual This Is What I Want festival Tuesday night, with installations and exhibitionistic rituals on the tandem themes of desire and economy. The performances, which run through Friday and are followed by a symposium on Saturday, are abrupt, awkward gems from local artists, timed to follow the celebration of Pride with a more serious examination of what it's like to be queer today. Performances included dancer Taisha Paggett, occasional drag performer Mica Sigourney, L.A.-based artist Rafael Esparza, and techie actor Sara Kraft. A second bill (Mabel Negrete, Dia Dear, Nick+James, and DavEnd) will perform on Thursday and Friday.

Artistic director Tessa Wills explains the theme: “I recently learned that economic fetishism existed as a term before sexual fetishism. Is there a way, then, that queer desire may just crook our paths to consumption enough in relationship to dominant cultural models, especially as enforced by advertising, that queers have a more complicated relationship to capitalism?” Her curation of This Is What I Want is her answer.

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