Hinten Gymnasium, vorne Museum

Performative Reading by Vaginal Davis

On the occasion of the exhibition The Black Image Corporation. Theaster Gates, Vaginal Davis presents a performative reading that brings her late mother’s copy of the July 1956 issue of Jet magazine to life.

"Jet"-Issue from July 1956

“Jet”-Issue from July 1956

Photo: Vaginal Davis, Courtesy: Johnson Publishing Company

  • 45 min
  • In English

Past Dates

Vaginal Davis has a long standing history with magazine culture. She grew up reading Ebony and Jet magazines, and during her time in the LA Punk scene she created the legendary zines Fertile LaToyah Jackson, Shrimp and Yes, Ms. Davis. Filled with gossip, scandal and beauty tips, the publications are an extension of her larger-than-life drag performances.

At the Gropius Bau, Vaginal Davis presents Hinten Gymnasium, vorne Museum, a performative reading dedicated to one particularly avid Jet reader, her mother, Mary Magdalene Duplantier. Reading from one of Mrs. Duplantier’s cherished copies of Jet from July 1956, this evening forms a rather different way to celebrate the most American of holidays, the Fourth of July.

Vaginal Davis is best known as a drag performer. Her performances use razor-sharp wit to take down white privilege and to critique patriarchal structures. All of her activities whether as an archivist, front woman or former gallerist are served with a side of camp and a portion of 1960s talk-show sass.

Viewers currently have the rare opportunity to see a selection of her paintings at the Gropius Bau. Ladies on Papier. Recent Works by Vaginal Davis is her first institutional presentation in Berlin. Over six weeks, six different portraits of figures from the worlds of art, film and literature will be on display, changing every Wednesday, until 21 July 2019.