In his solo performance, thirtynothing, Dan Fishback juxtaposes tales from the terrifying dawn of the AIDS epidemic with stories from his own more innocent childhood in those same years. As he unearths forgotten work by gay artists who died in the 80s and 90s, Fishback weaves stories from his own life through stories from theirs. Searching for role models and father figures amongst artists like Mark Morrisroe, David Wojnarowicz, David B. Feinberg, Essex Hemphill and many more, Fishback interacts with their work, dramatizing the generation gap between older and younger gay men. With insight, wit, and his characteristic dark, neurotic humor, Fishback tears open issues of sexual intimacy, mass death and cultural memory, creating an abstract theatrical landscape where the living and the dead can co-mingle and collaborate.
For information on the premiere production of thirtynothing at Dixon Place in 2011, and its accompanying event series and art exhibition, see below:
a performance piece, art installation and event series
written, performed, curated and produced by Dan Fishback
performance directed by Stephen Brackett
at Dixon Place (161 Chrystie Street, NYC), September 30 - October 23, 2011
Dan Fishback is as old as AIDS. As a gay man born in 1981, he grew up into a gay world defined by death, disease and trauma. But he knew nothing about it. Thirty years later, he looks back on the history of his people, and forward to its perplexing future.
The production will also feature a series of Sunday events about the cultural legacy of AIDS, focusing on the impact of the epidemic on the downtown queer arts community -- the heroes it lost and the generations that have emerged in their absence. All events will be at 5pm in the Lounge, with a $5 suggested donation:
October 2nd: THE QUEER GENERATION GAP - A panel discussion about age segregation in the queer community, how it functions, and how it can be resisted, featuring Ira Sachs (filmmaker, Last Address), Jack "Mother Flawless Sabrina" Doroshow (legendary drag performer), Carlos Motta (artist, We Who Feel Differently), and more TBA.
October 9th: THE GENTRIFICATION AGE - Writer/activist Sarah Schulman reads from her forthcoming book, Gentrification of the Mind, and discusses the effects of AIDS and gentrification on the NYC cultural landscape.
October 16th: THE FILMS OF MARK MORRISROE - A screening of three rarely-seen Super-8 films by the late photographer Mark Morrisroe, including "Hello From Bertha" (1983), "The Laziest Girl in Town" (1981) and Nymph-O-Maniac (1984).
October 23rd: THIRTYEVERYTHING - In the final event of the thirtynothing series, gay artists who have died of AIDS will be remembered with stories and performances by their surviving friends and admiring descendants. Presenters include: Jack Waters & Peter Cramer, Glenn Marla, Sur Rodney (Sur), Max Steele, Ethan Shoshan, Max Stein and Eric Rhein.
For this world premiere production of thirtynothing, Fishback will also create a visual installation in the Dixon Place Lounge, with mementos and artifacts from gay artists who died of AIDS in the 80s and 90s. With these materials on the wall, Dixon Place in October will be transformed into a place where people can come to reflect on the past thirty years of AIDS, and the impact of those years on their own lives. More info here.
A NOTE FROM DAN FISHBACK ON SCOPE:
As a young artist in the downtown queer performance community, the giants of the past loom large. When you make art in places like Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and P.S. 122, you hear about people like Ethyl Eichelberger or Jack Smith pretty regularly. And yet there is no ritualized means for my generation to mourn our predecessors who were lost to AIDS. As a Jew, trained from birth to mourn the obliteration of my ancestors, I feel the impulse to gather my community together, to speak of the dead, to celebrate the triumphs of the past and integrate that history into a sense of who I am. That is the impulse behind this project. It is not my intention to discuss every manifestation of AIDS in the world. There are major issues - like the global AIDS pandemic, shrinking access to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, etc. - that are not directly addressed in this program. It is not my intention to diminish these crises in my efforts to explore cultural memory in my own community.
thirtynothing is being developed through the Artists in Residence program at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, along with a grant from the Franklin Furnace Fund. This grant was made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Major support of the Franklin Furnace Fund was provided in 2010-11 by the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and Jerome Foundation.
January 26, 2010: Dixon Place, NYC
November 4-6, 2010: The Hub of the JCCSF at The Jewish Theater, San Francisco
November 16, 2010: Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYC (Open Studio)
January 20, 23, 2011: Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYC
April 8-10, 2011: Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYC
April 11, 2011: SUNY Purchase, NY
April 28, 2011: Sarah Lawrence College, NY
Press Coverage: HERE