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Featured: A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner – Community Action Center (NYC) NSFW

A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner
Community Action Center
Taxter & Spengemann
459 W. 18th St.
New York, NY 10011

September 24th, 11am- 6pm: The artists will host Casual Separatist Friday. The gallery will be dedicated and enforced exclusively as a “womyn”-only space

September 25th, 4pm: Gallery talk with the artists and special guest stars

September 18 – October 16, 2010: Community Action Center Open to the Public

© A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner


Community Action Center is a 69-minute sociosexual video by A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner which incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by porn-romance-liberation films, such as works by Fred Halsted, Jack Smith, James Bidgood, Joe Gage and Wakefield Poole, which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, and scapes and the body politic of a particular time and place.

© A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner

Because the video contains sexually explicit content, the term ‘porn’ is relevant and the artists have an interest in exploring the trappings of the term itself. Sex, sexuality and the complexities of gendered bodies are inherently political. Queer sex and feminist agency is a shared acknowledgment of reciprocal penetration. This project is a small archive of an intergenerational community built on collaboration, friendship, sex and art. The work attempts to explore a consideration of feminist fashion, sexual aesthetics and an expansive view of what is defined as ‘sex’. Burns and Steiner worked with artists and performers who created infinitely complex gender and performance roles that are both real and fantastical, set to a soundtrack of music and original compositions by artists culled from the worldwide sisterhood. The video seeks to expose and reformulate paradigms that are typical of porn typologies, intentionally exploiting tropes for their comical value, critical consideration and historical homage. Using the gallery to exer/exorcise the mystical and discreet lost spaces of homosocial configuration, the artists have created a reason and a space to reflect on the cultural realness of homo-grown lesbian sexuality. The work aims to be a hedonistic and distinctly political adventure.

The video is accompanied by portfolio of photographs shot during production, available upon request.

© A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner

About the artists

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design 1998 and an MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, in 2010. A.K.’s practice explores interpretation and implications of sexuality, power and language, often taking the form of sculpture, video, drawing or social actions. A.K. has been a frequent contributor and active member of both LTTR and Ridykeulous. A.K. is a founding member of the artists activist group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy). Her work can be found in the The Judith Rothschild Contemporary Drawings Collection at the MoMA. This fall, A.K. will launch the inaugural issue of RANDY in collaboration with Sophie Mörner/Capricious Publishing.

A.L. Steiner uses constructions of photography, video, installation, collage, collaboration, performance and curatorial work as seductive tropes channeled through the sensibility of a cynical queer eco-feminist androgyne. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Steiner is a collective member of Chicks on Speed, the co-curator of Ridykeulous, a founding member of W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) and collaborates with numerous visual and performing artists. Her work has been recently featured in Greater New York 2010, P.S. 1, New York and has been subject to solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and the New Museum, New York. She is a visiting instructor at the School of Visual Arts and University of California Los Angeles, and is represented by Taxter & Spengemann, NY.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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