Jimmy DeSana, Untitled (Stephen Varble performing Gutter Art with onlooker), 1975, Silver gelatin print (2018). © Jimmy DeSana Trust.
RUBBISH AND DREAMS: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble
Sep 29 - Jan 27, 2019
Rubbish and Dreams: the Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble, is an exhibition focusing on this performance artist who became iconic in 1970s New York for his disruptive interventions into galleries, public spaces, and financial institutions. Varble would engage in unauthorized and impromptu performance wearing elaborate costumes made from street trash, food waste, and stolen objects. His work was decidedly anti-institutional and he disrupted the business of art in the 1970s. For these reasons, he was soon written out of history, and no substantive piece of writing on his practice has been published for 40 years. This exhibition draws on a number of private archives in telling Varble’s story for the first time.
Click below to watch the following videos:
Stephen Varble, documentation of Blind Walk (1972), and “silent interview” of composer Robert Helps (1973)
Stephen Varble, Silent Prayer (1973)
Curator David Getsy’s presentation on Stephen Varble at the Museum on September 8, 2016.