Shtudio Show at Chez Bushwick

Culturebot Contributor Ryan Tracy sends in this report about Chez Bushwick’s last “Shtudio Show” in October. The next “Shtudio Show @ Chez Bushwick” is this Saturday, November 19, at 9PM.

Chez Bushwick
304 Boerum, Buzzer 11
The Bushwick, Brooklyn
more info? go to


For those of you who don’t know, Chez Bushwick is an amazing in-loft studio founded by Jonah Bokaer and co-facilitated by Lauren Dempster and Jeremy Wade. The third Saturday of each month, Miguel Gutierrez
curates “Shtudio Show”, a multi-disciplinary offering of performance, reading and discussion emceed by faux-foreigner, Technopia (aka Samuael Topiary).

I stopped by the “shtudio” last Saturday (October 15),copped a squat on the floor bohemian-style for a versatile palate of movement and music, spanning thespectrum of experience from the seasoned to those
making their NY entrance.

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John Jasperse presented Scavenger, a solo “performance/kinetic sculpture/installation” created with objects that he had appropriated from the facilities.

Marissa Perel and Kayvon Pourazar provided the nudity (all sides, all angles) in a movement/spoken word piece accompanied by a vestment-clad John Maniaci, who played accordion while lying on the floor. At a controversial point–even to the crowd of hipsters and downtown-arts-scene aficionados who had come to Chez Bushwick to experience challenging new work–Pourazar urinated into a silver bowl and proceeded to incorporate it into the movement; i.e. rubbing it all over his and Perel’s naked flesh, and eventually dipping his head straight into the bowl.

A musical offering by Sean Meehan was performed in the dark, so I couldn’t tell exactly how he was creating the ambient, whirring sounds that were diffusing through the room. I was told it involved a snare drum and some kind of spinning object.

Technopia engaged dance writer Gia Kourlas in an interview which, when it came to the subject of Kourlas’ much discussed September 6 “Times” article,expanded into a town-hall-like discussion between the
savvy Kourlas & the equally savvy audience carefully moderated by a quick-witted Technopia.

Recent Hollins University grad, Meredith Glisson danced in pj’s.

And finally, Roxxxane (formerly mentioned as Jonah Bokaer) performed some “un-American activities” as an intervention involving a red carpet. I’ll let you figure that one out on your own.


First, it’s a place where performers who work in unconventional modes can come and present their work in an environment free of evaluative criticism (I have been careful here to limit such language regarding the performers).

It also, because the Shtudio Show is run by the people who control the space, allows for unorthodox events to happen because “legitimate” spaces have a way of making rules about what you can and can’t do to-and-in their spaces. We’re lucky that the cohorts behind
Chez Bushwick are progressive and insane enough to create this anything goes type of environment.

Second, Shtudio Show encourages artistic discourse within the mix of seasoned resident artists and the diaspora of home-town runaways that come to the city in pursuit of artistic lives. Too often I go to a
performance and leave feeling like I have no one to talk to about what I just experienced. It doesn’t help either that it’s generally discouraged to speak intelligently about art in public, even among enlightened company. (Have you ever been arrested by that moment of panic when you realize that you actually got too caught up in “artsy” conversation at a party?) And the open forum that emerged during the Gia Kourlas interview, an impressive achievement of informed conversation about the general state of one of NY’s most dear artistic possessions—dance—was administered in a way that steered clear of criticizing any individual work. And afterward I felt, as I’m sure did others, that this was why I moved to NY: To engage in the exchange of ideas within a community if creative and critical minds.

Kudos to Chez Bushwick for providing an opportunity to congregate in such an explorative environment. It’s a good sign that this is just one of several salon-style events that seem to be cropping up around the city. It looks like the post-real-estate-boom bohemians are
finally finding ways to organize after being stratified from the city’s center (or in the case of many who have moved here in recent years–kept out). Perhaps it’s time to admit that “downtown” no longer means Manhattan.

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