HAG, small contemporary haggard

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
© Courtesy of the artist & Participant Inc.
HAG, small contemporary haggard

253 East Houston Street
10002 New York
November 9th, 2012 - December 16th, 2012
Opening: November 9th, 2012 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wed-Sun 12-7
collage, sculpture


PARTICIPANT INC is delighted to welcome Vaginal Davis back to New York City for her
first major solo visual art exhibition, HAG–small, contemporary, haggard. The name
HAG in part refers to a subset within the Queercore movement of the eighties, which
reclaimed the negative connotations associated with the term HAG. The croan, the
skank, the slattern, the fag hag, and the veritable sea hag all took on new states
of exaltation within this movement. Although HAG had proponents on both coasts, it
was more active in Los Angeles, where Ms. Davis was hatched.
This exhibition is in tribute to and inspired by the original HAG Gallery (1982-
1989), which Ms. Davis opened at 7850 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California. The
new, botoxed HAG will function as a fractured gallery within the space of
PARTICIPANT INC. As Davis puts it, “my medium is the indefinite nature of my own
whimsy.” HAG will feature new work that Davis has made while living in the Rote
Insel section of Berlin, including her signature cosmetics-and-tempera paintings of
women trapped in the bodies of women, lesbian domesticity wallpaper collages, and
totemic bread sculpture, which Davis describes as Rapa Nui Moai monuments vs. the
Venus of Willendorf.
During the run of the original HAG, Davis only featured the work of obsessive
figures who didn’t consider themselves artists and who did not go to art school. The
gallery was located on the famed Sunset Strip at the Villa Rosa Rock n Roll
Apartment Building, which was owned by Iranian Jews with a penchant for freaks. But
then, who else would rent an apartment to a loud, unruly messticle like Vaginal
Davis? Her next-door neighbor was John Drew Barrymore, the alcoholic and drug addled
son of stage and screen star John Barrymore and father of actress Drew Barrymore.
Barrymore’s paintings and assemblages, composed of broken liquor bottles, hypodermic
needles, and squished cockroaches, marked the opening season of HAG. Every piece
sold but sadly the former actor almost OD’d two weeks after the closing night, as he
used his proceeds for one big drug binge, aided and abetted by some tired death
During the seven years of HAG, guests were often found fornicating among antipaintings,
decomposing sculptures, edible fashion, psychotic/psychotropic
performances, vomitorials, alpha bitch slaps, and feral mudslides. Over the years,
HAG hosted work from Mari Kono, Charles LeDray, Rick Owens, Holly Woodlawn, Gorilla
Rose, the late Wagner Vieira-the Brazilian David Wojnarowicz, Alice Bag, The Swing
Set, The Cambridge Apostles, Michael Franti’s The BeatNiggs, Tragic Mulatto, Clay
Idols, Victor Banana, Tim Donnelly, Dora, Boofy Saint Marie, Nelson Sullivan,
DeAundra Peek and the Peak Sisters, Peace Frog, Diane Paillette, Mark Maxwell, Quasi
O’Shea, Gomorrah Wednesday, Momma Stud, Section Eight, Iris Parker, Johnny Dark,
Janet Klein, Doberman, Colleen Pancake, Sex Red Bed Spread, David Monster, Tom
Gallo, Ginger Surfer Valerian of the South Bay, Klaus von Brücker, Martin Nesvig,
Glen Meadmore, Psychodrama, Miracle!, Lisa Suckdog & Jean Louis Costes.
Ms. Vaginal Davis, the Los Angeles born and braised doyenne of intersexed outsider
art, has been a writer, performer, experimental filmmaker, and visual artist since
her early teens. She first came to international attention with her literary tabloid
Fertile La Toyah Jackson Magazine and its supplement Shrimp, the magazine for
licking and sucking bigger and better feet. Both magazines were published from the
original HAG gallery address in Hollywood.
Recent exhibitions include the commissioned piece My Pussy is Still in Los Angeles
(I Only Live in Berlin): Getty/Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles, January 2012;
Vaginal Davis is Speaking From the Diaphragm: Camp/Anti-Camp -The Queer Guide to
Everyday Life, Berlin, 2012; Tenderloin-Der Glock von der Lied: Antony’s Meltdown
Festival, London, August 2012; Memory Island: Tate Modern, London 2011; and Dejecta:
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, January 2011. Since 2006 she has been
living and working in Berlin, Germany, where she curates and hosts the monthly
performative film event, Rising Stars, Falling Stars, Arsenal Institut für Film- und

ArtSlant has shutdown. The website is currently running in a view-only mode to allow archiving of the content.

The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.