In Conversation

Union Theological Seminary
November 29, 2010, 3041 Broadway
New York City


What would We look like if we embraced both femininity and masculinity, equally? What if we removed the stigma of sexuality, and restored its sacredness? What if we saw all sexes, genders, and bodies as holy aspects of the divine? What happens when we finally ride out the radical third wave of feminism to the farther shores of trans-reality?

Canadian artist Mr. & Mrs. Keith Murray's creative practice attempts to explore these questions. At the 2008 inaugural exhibition of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, Elvis and a band of drag queen flyin nuns witnessed the holy matrimony of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Murray to him/herself. Murray is a trans-disciplinary mystical pervert (aka artist/ writer/ curator). He/she works predominantly with make-up, costume, film, video, new media, sculpture, movement and performance. Murray’s work has been exhibited internationally. Murray is a lover, not a fighter.

Mr. and Mrs. Keith Murray: my work reuses, recycles and reexamines the language, conventions, traditions and history of narrative, and the role of visionary storytelling in society. Influenced by the situationist tactic of detournement, I frequently re-use and abuse the romantic and ritualistic lures of religious traditions, in investigations of the effects of dogma, and the role of myth and fable in the contemporary quest for freedom and identity.

Exploring queer theory, gender and trans-politics, and the contextual nature of experience itself, my work often uses humour and irony to comment on the historically formative and revolutionarily transformative roles in which story affects our individual and cultural identities. Never taking myself too seriously, my work uses many of the conventions of pop-art and pop-culture, the kitsch and the carnivalesque, and is Illuminated by images of luminous jewel trees, made of liquid-laser-colour, populated with pan-religious icons and archetypal beings, deities and their consorts, merged into transgender embodiments of the non-dual -like Shiva, the manwoman, the creator/destroyer, like John’s vision of the breasted Christ.

The Institute for Art Relgion and Social Justice presents this conversation with one of our first artist-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary. Please join us for pizza and beer!