Laurence Myers Reese works in performance and painting, exploring gender, the queer body, and ritual. Reese is a current Graduate Assistant and MFA candidate at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He earned his BFA in Studio Art and a minor in Art History from the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Recently, Reese has exhibited at KillJoy Collective (Portland, OR), Front/Space (Kansas City, MO) and the 21C Museum Hotel, (Bentonville, AR). In 2017 he received a grant from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition for his project RE: Season 10 Audition, a multimedia installation documenting the creation of an audition tape for RuPaul’s Drag Race. This project premiered at the Momentum Ada New Media festival (East Central University, Ada, OK) with keynote speaker, “sultan of sleaze” John Waters.
He has worked in both non-profit administrative and curatorial roles: at the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition; as executive director of Individual Artists of Oklahoma; and as a participant in the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s regional Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship. He currently teaches art classes to adults at local art centers and works as a screen printer at Century Martial Arts, the world’s largest martial arts supplier. As a factory worker he investigates the use of the queer body to navigate and disrupt capitalist labor environments.
Performances as parties are a revolution against pragmatic notions of mere safety for marginalized groups, instead imagining places for utopian ideals to be realized. Arising from my own need for diverse traditions as a transgender individuals, I use play and drag to create rituals.
Several performances subvert the tropes of gender reveal parties, like pastel tinted cakes, balloons, and binary gendered party favors, as a way of heightening our awareness of the absurdity of gender. Other performances are closer to private magic rituals in which I peel fruit and sew it back together. Often these rituals are theatrical, with costumes changes and songs.
My performance work is informed by the linguistic theory of Third Space, as a site of identity and community realized through language and communication, and I am invested in the idea of a queer utopia. Queer individuals must define homes, work places, bodies, and third spaces differently and out of a more dire necessity. I aim to build these utopias and third spaces through performance.
l.myers.reese (at) gmail (dot) com