UGLY

I am an Ugly man. No, I am not an artist like those who created Beyoncé; nor am I one of your New York chosen ones /darlings / flavor of the week ectoplasms. I am a queer of substance, of color and depth, thoughts and expression– and I might even be said to possess magick. I am Ugly, understand, simply because you refuse to see me… 
— Raja Feather Kelly 

Raja Feather Kelly’s UGLY is a dance-theater-multimedia solo performance that deconstructs and reconstructs blackness and queerness through a postmodernist, pop-cultural lens. With UGLY, Kelly images his own queer black subjectivity, affording himself the subject-hood that popular culture often denies him. He will employ gender-bending as a lynchpin of performative strategy, provocatively taking racially-specific codes – gesture, speech, dress, music, and mannerism – and mobilizing them across gender, race, and nationality to comment on the nature of social division. Consistent with his body of work, his performance will play with popular culture and postmodernism to create a vivid collage of movement, image, and text within a physical landscape designed with intention in vibrant mustard-yellow tones. UGLY will construct a counter-narrative and counter-image that embraces the ambiguity and ambivalence of queerness and acts as a corrective to constructions of American identity that erase black queer subjectivities.