I first met Kris Grey, aka Justin Credible, in 2012 on Fire Island.
Myself fresh off of the ferry, and directly to the beach, shedding the grime of New York City in the summer and, after crossing through sidewalk, subway, LIRR, shared van, ferry, and cherry grove boardwalk, to arrive at the ocean, with no place further to escape.
I first met Kris Grey, aka Justin Credible, in 2012 on Fire Island. Myself fresh off of the ferry, and directly to the beach, shedding the grime of New York City in the summer and, after crossing through sidewalk, subway, LIRR, shared van, ferry, and cherry grove boardwalk, to arrive at the ocean, with no place further to escape.
Kris was one of the guys partying with our friends, lounging among beach blankets, folding chairs, and drinks. Stylish in trimmed beard, ray-bans, cut-off jean shorts, bare-chested. With our arrival, and desire to baptize ourselves in Fire Island waters, the first order was to take a swim. No sooner than hello, Kris was stripped down, ass out sprinting to the waves. But wait? Oh now I see, a guy with a pussy. It was an unforgettably singular expression of liberation; it was gender, beauty, sexuality, freedom.
Kris Grey/Justin Credible is a NYC based gender-queer artist whose work exists at the intersection of activism, storytelling, and studio production. His current project, Gender/Power is a first collaboration with Maya Ciarrocchi, a video artist also based in New York whose work addresses identity and otherness via documentation and durational portraiture.
Gender / Power carries a radical potential to reveal common discourses, common fears; exposing small slips in our shared narrative that present themselves thanks to the study and care these artists have placed in this work. It is not just a ‘queer’ work that speaks to ‘queer’ people, as Kris is himself is first to say, rather an essential portrait for everyone confronted by the definitions of gender and power.
While Kris and Maya each approach their work differently, both focus on revealing how particular ideologies are lived, performed, or otherwise transcribed onto the body. The content of Gender/Power is created in collaboration with individuals who have made specific decisions to disrupt or subvert gender signifiers. The performers create personal narratives on the subject of gender and authority in response to collectively devised prompts. These narratives are exchanged with another group member who in turn recites this text on camera and in performance. The postural and gestural aspects of gender performance are also exchanged and further distilled into live and recorded performative actions. The result exposes the artificiality of assumptions regarding social signifiers used to define sex and power.
As a working methodology that seeks to pose questions about embodied and perceived gender, Gender/Power will have several iterations, some performative with video components, others purely visual installation. The work with the first group of collaborators will act as a template for future performances and workshops with alternate participants.
Gender / Power. Residency. The Baryshnikov Arts Center, BAC Space Residency. New York City.
Gender/Power: Composition II. Gibney Dance Center, New York City. An immersive instillation and performance.
Gender / Power. Residency. Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, NY. Workshop template with participation of an intergenerational group of individuals from the community, and public performance.
Gender / Power. Residency. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space Residency. New York City.