Wayne Koestenbaum: The Pink Trance Notebooks

Wayne Koestenbaum Event

Archived Event

No Longer Showing.

This evening celebrates the release of Wayne Koestenbaum’s new book of poetry, The Pink Trance Notebooks, published this October by Nightboat Books. A sequence of 34 intimate epigrammatic assemblages, Pink Trance is the product of the year Koestenbaum stopped keeping the traditional journal he had maintained for three decades and embarked instead on a series of “trance notebooks” as a way to transform his diary into a higher pitch of reckless ceremony, an occasion for intensified, unmoored consciousness. To mark the book’s publication, and to manifest the spirit of linguistic improvisation, Koestenbaum will perform piano miniatures (Scriabin, Chopin, Fauré, Milhaud, Poulenc) while incanting spontaneous Sprechstimme-style soliloquies.

To frame and counterpoint the performance, interdisciplinary artist Leeza Meksin will create a site-specific installation inspired by pink, trance, and drag masquerade. Meksin’s paintings and installations take rectilinear structures such as canvases and buildings and playfully reconfigure their authority through draping, layering, and stretching these iconic forms toward more organic shapes that allude to the body. Her work seeks to undermine the comfortable propriety of the public sphere, while questioning the shame that clings to what we consider private. By dressing up buildings and paintings in spandex outfits, she explores the uncomfortable in-between states of male and female, queer and straight, dressed and naked, traditional and unfixed.

September 21, 7pm

Wayne Koestenbaum: The Pink Trance Notebooks is made possible with support from Axe-Houghton Foundation and Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Wayne Koestenbaum would like to thank Sohrab Mohebbi for inspiring his performance; an extended version will be presented this fall in the exhibition Hotel Theory at REDCAT.

Photo: Leeza Meksin, detail of Big Bounce, site-specific installation at Brandeis University, 2014.

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