"In celebration of our Summer Issue, X-TRA invites you to a discussion and screening, about looking at performance through the work of Johanna Went and Michael Turinsky.
Join us for this special program hosted by Human Resources with the artist Johanna Went, her collaborator Mark Wheaton, and issue contributors Christine Wertheim and Doran George.
Both Wertheim and George take up positions of enamored spectatorship, presenting carefully crafted responses to the exuberant performance work of their subjects (Johanna Went and Michael Turinsky, respectively). Bodies figure prominently—sexy, messy and alluring.
Wertheim ends her essay on Johanna Went with this:
“Johanna Went is a Dionysian genius, a Siren whose irresistible song cannot help but lure us into the temptations of ecstatic, participatory, and brave self-annihilation.” Went was a fixture on the 80s punk scene in LA, performing over 200 times between 1978 and 1988.
George begins his letter to Michael Turinsky, the Artist’s Project in this issue, with this:
“Dear Michael, You are hot and I want to have sex with you . . . This letter thus consciously opens up pleasure, sensation, and desire as strategies for thinking—or should I say feeling—about dance, disability, sexual culture, and social power.” The letter is in reaction to a performance by Michael Turinsky, My body, your pleasure (2014) that George saw in Germany."