My Barbarian, video still from Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse, 29 Min HD Video, 2013
My Barbarian is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles.
My Barbarian is a collective consisting of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade, founded in Los Angeles in 2000. My Barbarian's performance, video, music and installation projects use fantasy, humor, camp, and clashing aesthetic sensibilities to playfully reenact serious artistic, political, social and historical situations. My Barbarian's solo exhibitions include "Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse" at Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles, 2013; "PoLAAT: Together Forever?" at Yaffo 23, Jerusalem, Israel, 2013; "Flat Busted Window Beauty Fatale," Transformer Gallery, Washington DC, 2012; “Broke People's Baroque Peoples' Theater,” Human Resources, Los Angeles, 2012; “Ecos de los Ecos” at Museo El Eco, Mexico City, 2010; “The Night Epi$ode” at Participant Inc., New York, 2009 and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2010. The group has presented performance and video works internationally and has been included in the 2005 and 2007 Performa Biennials, the 2006 and 2008 California Biennials, the 2007 Montreal Biennial and the 2009 Baltic Triennial. Other performance sites have included MoMA, The Kitchen, New Museum, Whitney Museum, and Joe's Pub (NYC), LACMA, MOCA, REDCAT (LA), Power Plant, (Toronto), De Appel (Amsterdam), El Matadero (Madrid), Peres Projects (Berlin), Torpedo (Oslo), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo) and many others. My Barbarian has participated in group shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem; ICA Philadelphia; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; MOCA Miami; ICA London; Den Haag Sculptuur, Netherlands; CCA, Tel Aviv; Anton Kern Gallery in New York, and many others. My Barbarian has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Art (2013), Creative Capital (2012), City of Los Angeles Cultural Affiars (20010), and Art Matters (2008). Their work has been discussed in the New Yorker, New York Times, LA Times, Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, Bomb and various international newspapers, and in José Muñoz’s book “Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity.”
In 2008, during a residency at the New Museum, My Barbarian developed the Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT). The project was envisioned as a pedagogical model and (self-consciously) codified technique that would become a way to work with a large group of artists in creating a theatrical process of artistic collaboration about grappling with histories of radical leftist theater and current artistic production. Using historical models such as the Living Theater, Fassbinder's anti-theater, and Theater of the Oppressed, the PoLAAT workshop facilitates group-building, cultural exchange and political critique through imaginative reenactments. After its initial production at the New Museum, the PoLAAT has been performed with different interdisciplinary groups of participants at Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporaneo, Trento, Italy, 2008; Townhouse Gallery / Rawabet Theatre, Cairo, Egypt, 2008; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2009; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida, USA, 2009; El Matadero and ARCO, Madrid, Spain, 2010; American Repertory Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2010; Rhubarb Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2011; CalArts School of Theater and REDCAT, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2012; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2012; and Yaffo 23, Jerusalem, Israel, 2013.
My Barbarian as the Nightmare Curators in Death Panel Discussion, Participant, Inc, NY, 2009.
Malik Gaines is Assistant Professor of Art at Hunter College, New York. Apart from My Barbarian, Gaines has written essays and articles for Art Journal, Women & Performance, e-flux; contributions to books and exhibition catalogues for the Studio Museum in Harlem, Danspace, the Whitney Museum, the Hammer Museum, the 1st Moscow Biennial; and monograph texts for artists including Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, Sharon Hayes, Glenn Ligon and Wangechi Mutu. He has organized exhibitions and programs independently, including "Fade: African American Artists in LA" for the City of Los Angeles (2004) and "Quadruple-Consciousness" at Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2010); and exhibitions and programs for LAXART, where he was a curator from 2005-2012, having curated solo shows by Anna Sew Hoy, Kalup Linzy and Colter Jacobsen, performances by Eleanor Antin and The Bodacious Buggerrilla, and serving as a co-curator of the Hammer Museum's biennial exhibition Made in LA (2012). Gaines holds a PhD in Performance Studies from UCLA and an MFA in Writing from CalArts. Other performance projects include a voice-and-piano solo act.
Jade Gordon is a faculty member at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Theater at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. She holds a BA in theater and an MA in applied theater arts from the University of Southern California. Gordon studied at Augusto Boal’s Center for the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio De Janeiro and leads Theater of the Oppressed workshops in low-income housing facilities, high schools, community counseling centers and art spaces. Acting credits include That 70s Show; Allison Anders’ Sugar Town, for which she was an IFC Independent Spirit Award nominee in 1999; and Vaginal Davis’ film, The White to be Angry. In 2010, she collaborated with Haegue Yang on a solo performance at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Jade is also co-owner of Wombleton Records, a collectible vinyl record shop in Highland Park, CA.
Alexandro Segade is is a performance artist whose work spans fields of video, theater and visual art, with an emphasis on collaboration across disciplines. Segade has presented his on-going series of queer sci-fi performances and videos at LAXART, REDCAT and Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles; ARTSBlock, UC Riverside; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Migrating Forms at Anthology Film Archive in New York; Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco; Vox Populi in Philadelphia. Segade’s most recent project, Boy Band Audition, is a participatory performance made in collaboration with his brother, Mateo Segade, presented at the 2013 Time Based Art Festival in Portland, OR, and included in the 2013 Movement Research Festival, presented at Judson Church in New York City. Segade received a 2011 Art Matters Grant with artist Wu Tsang, and their video and performance work made in collaboration has been presented at the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea; Benevento Gallery, LA; The Wexner Center for the Arts, OH; the Whitney Museum and Artist’s Space, NY. In collaboration with Malik Gaines, under the name Courtesy the Artsists, Segade has created interdisciplinary performances at PS1MoMA and Recess, NY, included in Performa 13. Segade teaches in the Film/Video Department at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts and teaches in the BFA program at Parsons the New School in New York City. Segade earned a BA in English from UCLA (1996) and an MFA in interdisciplinary studio art from UCLA (2009) where he studied with Mary Kelly.
My Barbarian as The Broke Peoples' Baroque Peoples' Theater in their Los Angeles studio, performing for no one, 2012.