November 9, 2010 - Vera List Center for Art and Politics - Vogue’ology
November 9, 2010


Ballroom Archive & Oral History Project

November 17 – November 30, 2010

Parsons The New School for Design
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Aronson Gallery
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
New York City
Gallery hours: 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Free admission

Vogue’ology contains seemingly incompatible elements: aesthetic experience and political activism; community events and forensic research; public manifestations and private workshops. The exhibition is a joint project between the Ballroom Archive & Oral History Project and the sound art collective Ultra-red. Central to the collaboration is a shared interest in developing terms that can serve to organize the Ballroom Archive, a community-initiated effort to gather histories of the House|Ballroom scene.

The House|Ballroom scene emerged in New York City in the first half of the last century and is today found in cities across the United States. Members of the scene have organized themselves into houses, such as the House of Ebony, the House of Evisu, and the House of Garçon, which function as intentional communities social networks and artistic collectives. Houses sponsor Balls: large events at which members compete in multiple performance categories. For generations of transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay primarily Latino and African American men and women, the Balls have provoked radical explorations of style, identity and social inequality. Vogue, the community’s signature performance form originally inspired by poses in Vogue magazine, enacts an analysis of normative gender, class and racial identities.

Rather than exhibiting the archive or attempting to represent the House|Ballroom scene itself, Vogue’ology investigates the processes and goals of archiving as they pertain to the specific characteristics and conditions of the House|Ballroom scene. Its structure and aesthetic elements amplify the resonances between the vocabularies of both archive and Balls, particularly their common interest in protocol, category, disassembly, and recombination.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of free public programs:

Thursday, November 18, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Organized Listening: Sound Art, Collectivity and Politics
Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Participants include Edgar Riviera Colon and Rev. Jamaul Roots from Ballroom Ministries; human rights advocate and filmmaker Karen Hakobian; artist Paige Sarlin of 16 Beaver; musician, writer and curator Alex Waterman of Plus Minus Ensemble and Either/Or Ensemble.
Facilitators: Dont Rhine and Robert Sember

Monday, November 29, 2010, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Gallery visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibition and share their responses in writing, at the gallery or via email ( In addition, the artists are facilitating a public listening session in the gallery, to consider collectively the intersection of object and analysis, and to evaluate and debate the political consequences and possibilities of recording history.

Living the Fight: AIDS Activism
Tuesday, November 30, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The New School, Michael Klein Room
66 West 12th Street, 5 floor

With Lolisa Gibson, Johnny Guaylupo, Charles Long, and Pedro Julio Serrano

Sponsored by Health Education, Global Studies, Department of Natural Sciences and Math/ Interdisciplinary Science at Lang, Campus Queer Collective, Parsons Diversity Initiative, Lang’s Ethnicity and Race Program, Office of Intercultural Support, V-Day at New School, The New You, Association for International Development, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Sex In An Epidemic

Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Screening of Jean Carlomusto’s award-winning film Sex In An Epidemic (2010), followed by a conversation with Arbert Santana Evisu, Kevin Trimell Jones, Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia, and Robert Sember

Let’s Be Real: Sex Is Positive
Thursday, December 2, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The New School, 6 East 16th Street, Room 713

A safer sex workshop led by New School students where we’ll explore and play.
Sponsored by The New You and Health Education

Presented on the occasion of the Vera List Center’s 2009/2011 focus theme “Speculating on Change.”

For more information, visit

*Image above:
Design Garrick Gott.

Vera List Center for Art and Politics
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