John Kelly got a scholarship to American Ballet Theater when he was 17. After dancing for a while he went to Parsons to study art. Then he hit the East Village Paradise Club and began performing, singing songs, in boy drag or other drag (e.g., dressed as Joni Mitchell), and the rest is history. Kelly, with a 3-octave range, calls himself a “Range Queen.” Yes, in addition to being multi-talented, he has a very good sense of humor. Kelly has performed many places including at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and debuted his one-person piece, The Escape Artist, at PS 122 ... More » »
John Kelly is a performance artist and vocalist known for his 3-octave range, for vocal impersonations of Joni Mitchell and for theatrical performances that explore the genius of art and artists. Kelley, who was in ICA’s Queer Voice in 2011, is coming to Bryn Mawr College this Friday, Jan. 24, to perform his one-person show “The Escape Artist,” which is loosely based on an experience he had when he fell off a trapeze, broke his neck and was flat on his back in the hospital ER for 15 hours staring at the ceiling. In this clip from our interview he ... More » »
Queer Voice at ICA is a clear sign of how comfortable we’ve become with people, places and things that are queer, a word primarily defined by Merriam-Webster as characterizing things that are “differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal,” but which has come to have a second meaning encompassing nearly everything and everyone deviating from gender and sexual norms.
Queer Voice, at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA ), University of Pennsylvania through August 1, 2010 is an exhibition organized around an idea: that a number of artists since the 1960s have created narrative or performance-based work that emphasizes the voice, the voice distorted or manipulated such that gender is divorced from sex and/or gender is undistinguishable: a queer voice. And this queer voice, in turn, establishes a queer or de-familiarized space for the audience. That the work of the nine artists does not clearly support this thesis, or that the thesis misses the most significant aspects of the ... More » »