Gregg Bordowitz And Fraught Masculinity

Hua Hsu at The Nation:

Several months after Charlottesville, as part of an exhibition at the New Museum, Bordowitz debuted Some Styles of Masculinity, a trio of improvised monologues on these figures and how they’d shaped him, how they’d enabled him to go off script and to cultivate a performance of gender that accounted for his particular understanding of race, ethnicity, and nationality. The monologues are sincere and hopeful, weird and campy. Bordowitz, who was born in 1964, returns to his roots: He performs under his Hebrew name, Benyamin Zev, fulfilling his longtime fantasy of hosting a variety show. He regards his own body—the way he speaks, stands, listens—as he describes how he became who he is: through worshiping Lou Reed, studying Lenny Bruce routines, absorbing Jewish liberation theology, and engaging in the confrontational, in-the-streets action of late-’80s AIDS activism. But he acts less like a pedagogue or narrator than the host of an off-kilter, otherworldly take on The Carol Burnett Show or The Dick Van Dyke Show. He addresses the audience, casting about for reactions, but he also looks past the crowd—and past the reader—for an audience that has yet to assemble.

more here.