Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outrageous Oasis: Envelope-Pushing Performance-Art Installations at a Sleazy Motel? It Must Be Los Angeles's Platinum Oasis, Hosted by Dr. Vaginal Davis and Ron Athey. (Performance)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outrageous Oasis: Envelope-Pushing Performance-Art Installations at a Sleazy Motel? It Must Be Los Angeles's Platinum Oasis, Hosted by Dr. Vaginal Davis and Ron Athey. (Performance)

Article excerpt

"I like to bring together lowlifes and highlifes," says drag artist Dr. Vaginal "Cream" Davis about his current artistic obsession, Platinum Oasis. He's crafting the second year of the marathon evening that swirls chaos, sex, queer politics, and cake into one completely unique confection. The 2001 debut was avant-garde art with white-trash trimmings and quickly became Los Angeles's art darling. After a year's worth of "Can you believe it?" buzz, Platinum Oasis is back, just in time for summer. Would you expect anything less from a towering black drag queen who's sung in a myriad of punk bands, put on performance pieces in Berlin, and most recently toured the comedy circuit with Margaret Cho?

Davis and noted performance artist Ron Athey cocreated the special 18-hour event last year as a multimedia arm of the Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festival, Outfest. Held at the notoriously sleazy Coral Sands motel in Hollywood, Platinum Oasis fills hotel rooms with a variety of queer and straight artists, both male and female, with the only rule being to involve the audience wherever possible. "I think it's so boring to go to a museum. Once in a while you see something profound that blows your mind, but usually it's just incredibly boring," says Athey.

Boring was the last thing anyone could accuse Platinum Oasis of being. One walk down a hallway might provide a glimpse of people getting powdered and fitted into adult-size diapers, a flash of queer filmmaker Bruce La Bruce making patrons a custom "snuff" film, or perhaps just a group of socialites enjoying a little sweetness in Jennifer Doyle's "Cakes and Kisses" room.

Head down to the pool, and you could catch performer and actor Ann Magnuson giving an impromptu fashion show as Eminem's mom. Even musician Beck's mother, Bibbe Hansen, was there to show family movies. Queers, anarchists, artists, debutantes, and Davis's favorite "lowlifes" all bonded for a day and a night under the sun and stars.

All this candy-colored insanity was the brainchild of Shari Frilot, the curator of Platinum, Outfest's experimental section. "I wanted festivals to focus back on the stylistic innovations of the queer community," say Frilot. After seeing Athey and Davis perform at their club Gimp, she knew she had found the perfect people to do just that. She approached them to take their mix of music, art, and sexuality and turn it into a one-night happening for Outfest. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.