Page 19

house of gunt

continued from previous page

Anita Shave, left, spreads the good word; Monster C**t looks upon her congregation, right. Photo by dave spangenburg

a week with countless satellite shows and underground exhibitions. “Basel’s great because it brings people from all over the world to that one spot,” says Arnzen. “They have their Miami convention thing for the rich people, but everything else in Miami is open to show art.” House of Gunt was invited to join a hotel exhibition in which an array of collectives each took over a room of their own. Blending their signature highbrow and lowbrow style with a wink and a nudge, the Gunties spent every day crafting a tabloid inspired by their performers’ personalities, complete with beauty, arts, culture, and food sections. “The first day, we were magazine editorial staff,” says Arnzen. “We actually hired unpaid interns and had people who unionized against us! I think people liked it a lot because it was a little anti-serious; it became a lighthearted experience, but people actually took it seriously, too.” With Basel and a gig styling wigs for SCAD Museum of Art’s Vivienne Westwood exhibition, Arnzen says House of Gunt is reshaping its definition: when one thinks of Gunt, think beyond drag. Think performance, think challenge, think radical, think political, think collective. Think shock, humor, awe, glitz, slime, rawness, and a queerer, safer Savannah for all. “‘House’ is a term meant for fashion, for drag,” says Arnzen. “This is a group of people that, wherever they form, that’s where the house is. That’s where the roof is made.” CS

The House of gunt presents: #2BLESSED When: Saturday, January 9, 10 p.m. Where: The Jinx Cost: $5

JAN 6-12, 2015

“You have this really vile host who is biting and people think they’re witty, but really, they’re misogynistic gay people. That’s not fun. One of our goals is to challenge misogyny among gay people. We should be injecting that feminism where it should be. I feel like we’d be white noise in a larger city in a sense, but I feel like that’s not the issue. We’re here right now, and in the South, you do feel like you’re on the front lines representing queer people and trying to do it in the correct way.” By rotating venues, Arnzen’s found that a community has bubbled up around Gunt performances. “It brought so many people out of the woodwork,” he says in awe. Alongside events like queer dance night Candyland and Cape Fear, House of Gunt is vital in creating safe spaces for folks of varying gender expressions, but there is still a lot of work to do. “For really queer people who may be expressing a different type of gender identity than what other people may think their gender role is, I still don’t think [Savannah]’s that safe,” Arnzen says. “People are getting misgendered all the time, they’re still getting misrepresented. No matter how successful or amazing any of our shows are, they still represent a time and a place where you can be with other people, and for at least three and a half hours, it’s a safer space. And that goes down to the people that run the bar, own the bar, and how they react to how certain individuals are treated.” 2015 was a huge year for House of Gunt studded with successful shows around the Southeast, including a banner performance during Art Basel Miami Beach. The paramount weekend, which showcases a vast spread of modern and contemporary art to international curators, directors and collectors, has spawned into a beast of


Profile for Connect Savannah

Connect Savannah January 6, 2016  

Connect Savannah January 6, 2016