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CAVERNOUS: Young Joon Kwak & Mutant Salon

July 11 - August 26

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CAVERNOUS: Young Joon Kwak & Mutant Salon

Curated by Daniela Lieja Quintanar

Exhibition Dates: July 12-August 26, 2018

LACE’s Summer Residency presents CAVERNOUS by artist Young Joon Kwak and Mutant Salon, a collective of queer-trans-femme-POC artists and performers and a platform for community collaborations. CAVERNOUS is a kaleidoscopic environment that queers the last bastion of manhood in the domestic space—the man cave. CAVERNOUS fractures the patriarchal myth of male privilege, and provides an access point for an ongoing critical deconstruction of how we view our bodies, and reimagines alternative forms of existence and desire.

Welcoming viewers at the entrance of CAVERNOUS, Young Joon Kwak presents new sculptures and a living queer archive that reclaims erased narratives and traces a lineage of radical present-future queer arts communities in Los Angeles. Kwak’s archive features a selection of unclassified objects by unknown artists from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, as well as custom wigs by stylists from historic Hollywood retailers displayed on ceramic wig stands designed by Kwak as a tribute to the artistry of these under-recognized wig stylists. The archive also includes a screening of video works and documentation by historically radical local performance artist Johanna Went, connecting the community of Mutant Salon with LACE’s 40 year history of supporting queer and feminist performance art.

Deeper in CAVERNOUS, Mutant Salon creates a temporary autonomous zone that fosters community-building and celebrates the bonds of critical resistance and togetherness in the act of self-care. Mutant Salon features sculptures, videos, interactive installations, lounging spaces, a zine library, a spring, and other surprises, which will transform throughout the duration of the exhibition. The opening of CAVERNOUS will feature several spectacular performances by members of Mutant Salon.

The LACE Summer Residency program has a commitment to reconnect with Hollywood surrounding communities. For this summer, CAVERNOUS, members of Mutant Salon host a workshop of radical writing and zine production for the youth community of My Friend’s Place. Programming also includes activities for the senior community at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, including a conversation on oral histories of queer resistance presented in collaboration with Dirty Looks On Location.

With their outdoor neon signage, Mutant Salon has designated LACE as femme, trans, gender non-binary, and inclusive. All gender expressions welcome.

Mutant Salon: Marvin Astorga, Jacinto Astiazarán, Dove Ayinde, Corazon Del Sol, Sarah Gail, Juan Gudiño, laub, Long Long (Thinh Nguyen), Alli Miller, Roxy Morataya, Anna Luisa Petrisko, Project Rage Queen (Alice Cunt, Dalton Chase Goulette, and TravisD), Matt Savitsky, and Kim Ye.

JEEP JEEP video game-presented by Anna Luisa Petrisko, Tonia B., Bela Messex and David Lyons.

Public Programming

July 20, 2018, Oral Histories of Queer Resistance in collaboration with Dirty Looks On Location and LGBT Center. 7-10PM

As an effort to create a living archive of queer resistance and community in LA, Mutant Salon and Young Joon Kwak invite seniors in the LGBT community to share stories of past struggles and resistance, along with the current challenges faced by this community. 49 years after Stonewall Riots, younger generations are invited to learn about the time when it was illegal to be open about one’s sexual orientation or gender, while understanding that the struggle still persists and needs to be connected with its history. In order to understand our position in this current political and social climate, and to imagine the possibilities of what queer resistance could look like, it is crucial to hear and archive the stories of older generations who dealt with the stigmas of illness, perversion, and policing bodies.

Guest speakers: Dolores DeLuce, Fayette Hauser and Leon Mostovoy

July 28, 2018, Ain’t I A Womxn? In collaboration with LA Freewaves, Xina Xurner performs at LA State Historical Park.  8PM-11PM

August 11, 2018, Black TED organized by Mutant Salon members Sarah Gail and Dove Ayinde. 7 PM

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Black Ted is a collaborative think tank erected in 2017 by Dove Ayinde and Sarah Gail Armstrong. Black Ted focuses on Black consciousness, thought, and the exploration of such in a satirical manner in order to encourage greater accountability and action from an ever increasing apathetic and withdrawn society.August 2018 Writing/Zine Workshop in collaboration with My Friend’s Place.

Featuring talks by Sarah Gail Armstrong, Dove Avinde, Brandon Drew Holmes, Micah James, and Elliot Reed.

This lecture coincides with the performances by Adee Roberson and Anna Luisa Petrisko that pertain to the Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language exhibition.

August 26, 2018 3-6PM, Closing reception with musical performances by San Cha, Xina Xurner and Project Rage Queen. Djs La Disco es Qultura. Debut screening of new music video Inténtame by Xina Xurner featuring San Cha.


 Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984 in Queens, NY) is a LA-based multi-disciplinary artist working primarily through sculpture, performance, video, and collaboration. Her work aims to change how we view our bodies by reimagining their form, functionality, and materiality—from static and bound to pre-inscribed power structures, to an expanded sense of bodies and their environs as mutable and open-ended. She is the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving beauty salon/platform for experimental performance collaborations with her community of queer, trans, femme, POC artists and performers, and the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner. Performances and exhibitions include: the Hammer Museum, The Broad, REDCAT, and ONE National LGBT Archives, Los Angeles; Regina Rex and Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Pavillon Vendôme Centre d’Art Contemporain, Clichy, France. During Summer 2018, Kwak will be the Artist-in-Residence at LACE (LA). Kwak was recently awarded the Art Matters Grant and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Artist Community Engagement Grant. She received an MFA from the University of Southern California, MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mutant Salon is a beauty salon and roving platform for collaborative performance and community-building that strives to foster connections between queer, trans, POC, womyn and mutant communities to celebrate an ethos of transformation and critical togetherness in the act of self care. In addition to offering haircuts, psychic readings, makeup, nails, tattoos, and other treatments, Mutant Salon embraces a continual metamorphosis of itself with each iteration to offer new aesthetic experiences and experimental modes of engagement with an audience.
“Multifaceted in every sense of the word, Sarah Gail speaks to her current state of being and desires and ambitions through her work. Be it in written form, painting, performance or an installation, we the audience are able to tell how she is coping with existing as a Black femme within a white patriarchal supremacist world. Her work is sincere in ways that most artists will never be able to create and blunt in a manner that many do not know how to create without victimizing.” – Brandon Drew Holmes

Dove Ayinde is a musician/artist in the Los Angeles,CA.
Themes of Black consciousness, social justice, and identity can be found throughout her work in zines, live performances, and in her collage art. Amongst various projects, she currently performs in post-garage band, Hausa.

Juan Manuel Gudiño is a Mexican artist that resides in Los Angeles who highlights strong traits in abstraction with painting, sculpture and installation. Gudiño has been in past collaboration with Los Angeles Chicano artist such as Maricon Collective and participated at Rafa Esparza Con/Safos at The Bowtie Project.

Long Long is Thinh Nguyen reclaimed superego from childhood memories growing up as a girl. Nguyen is known for his intense controversial contemporary art performances. More recently with Long Long heart wrenching vocal and throat singing performances, which has gained critical attention from the music and art communities for her remarkable voice and politically charged lyrics. Long Long most recently performed at The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Human Resources.
Nguyen presented xe interventions at The New Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Xe work has been written in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic, Artillery and numerous online forums. Nguyen holds a BFA in drawing and painting from Cal State Fullerton and an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from Claremont Graduate University. Xe is a first-generation immigrant from Viet Nam, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Dalton Chase Goulette is a multimedia/performance artist based in Los Angeles. Their work focuses on post-apocalyptic visions of the future, queering classical ideas of beauty and deterioration of self/ego/gender/. Dalton’s aspiration is to one day generate ectoplasm.
Dalton will be alongside Project Rage Queen traveling thru LACE for an indiscriminate amount of time in sculptural pieces they designed for Opening Night. This piece may or may not deteriorate throughout the night. How it survives is how it will be presented.
San Cha is a vocal priestess, a force of nature to be reckoned with, a Femme Xicanx Goddess who captivates audiences with their blend of Mexican Folk Music, Cumbia and Punk. Belting out ‘Gospel Ranchera Punk’ while twirling around the stage, San Cha will you leave you inspired, healed and transformed
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