DENNIS AND THE BOYS
October 14 2010
Dennis Cooper, in collaboration with the New Museum and SPANK Magazine, selected three young queer zine writers (Mark Edmund Doten, Robert Smith, and Max Steele) to join him for an evening of performative readings and provocations, as part of the collective program THEM AND NOW under the New Museum’s RE:NEW RE:PLAY Residency Series. For DENNIS AND THE BOYS, Cooper read selections from his chillingly gruesome, sexually perverse, and affectingly human fiction and poetry written when THEM was originally created and performed.
THEM was an intensely visceral interdisciplinary collaboration among director/choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper (text), and Chris Cochrane (music). The piece was originally presented at Performance Space 122 in 1986 and was revisited by Houston-Jones over the course of an extended rehearsal process at the New Museum. Presented as part of RE:NEW RE:PLAY Performance Residency Series, the rehearsals at the New Museum culminated in a series of programs collectively titled THEM AND NOW, exploring the artistic impulses that propelled the creation of this “aggressive and vital” (Village Voice) performance work and its reconstruction twenty-five years later. Immediately following the New Museum residency, THEM received its 2010 premiere at Performance Space 122, October 21–30, 2010. The production was included on several “Best Of” lists in dance press, including The New York Times.
Dennis Cooper founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press in 1976, which he ran until 1982. From 1980 to 1983 he was Director of Programming for the Beyond Baroque Literary/Art Center in Venice, California. Cooper’s The George Miles Cycle is an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period. His post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread, The Sluts, and the highly acclaimed God, Jr. He is the author of ten books of fiction and numerous collections of poetry.
Mark Edmund Doten is the Senior Editor of Soho Press. His writing has appeared in Conjunctions, The Collagist, Guernica and The Believer.
Robert Smith has been published in Spank, Ganymede, Mary Literary and Evergreen Review. He is the host of the monthly reading series Brother, My Lover in New York City.
Max Steele is a performer and writer. He has presented work at the New Museum, Rapture Café, Deitch Projects, Envoy Enterprises, PPOW Gallery, and the Queens Museum of Art. He writes the psychedelic porno poetry zine Scorcher, is a contributor to East Village Boys and Birdsong, plays Becky on the Logo sitcom “Jeffery and Cole Casserole”, and is a go-go boy at NYC’s queer punk party QxBxRx.