the subversive wit of house of ladosha
The creative collective is back in a big way with a new Brooklyn exhibition.
Throughout the years New York City's progressive culture has largely been the product of groups. From the beatniks of Greenwich Village, to Andy Warhol's factory, to the 90s ravers at the Limelight, or the DIS Magazine crew today, groups like these have defined their eras, explored new cultural territories, and fostered a sense of community. Rarely are we privy to any insight into the individuals within a collective, and that's what makes This Is Ur Brain, a new gallery exhibit by the House of Ladosha, so interesting.
An ensemble of musicians, performers, designers and art directors, The House of Ladosha follows in the tradition of NYC's ball culture. Its members share a common appreciation for individuality and a no holds barred attitude on life. From Ladyfag's epic parties, to becoming role models to a new generation of LGBT youths, to the emergence of cult labels like Hood By Air, Ladosha has been present and helping to further the conversation.
Chris Udemezue, aka Neon Christina Ladosha reflects: "I mean from language, music to just a general encouragement to stay 'woke'—I feel like we have done a lot." In what is their second group show, Ladosha presents an exhibition of photography, video and performance made as a group. "We wanted to take it a step further and see what would happen if we put our heads together to produce one work that was collectively authored" says Riley Hooker, aka General Rage Ladosha, aka Paz Off Ladosha.
Held at BHQFU in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, a wayward location for a group that has always embraced the fringe, the show goes beyond simply documenting Ladosha's past. On view in a range of media will be "the rise, the fall, the evolution of kids and styles in this city" as Yan Sze Li, aka YSL Ladosha, puts it. The exhibition promises a keen look at New York City today as seen through select and knowing eyes.
"At the foundation of it all is our mother, La'Fem Ladosha and her pioneering music," says DJ Michael Magnan, aka Magatha LaDosha. "It's brought all of us together as a family and unified a huge community of people here in NYC over the past seven years." Antonio Blair, aka La'Fem Ladosha, is the matriarch of the group and commands a unique ferocity and wit that has set the tone for the house and how it has engaged the city. It's an unmatched style of irreverence, humour and glamour, Ladosha's calling cards, that, when transposed into art and space, is due to make for urgent experience.
Adam Radakovich, aka Cunty Crawford Ladosha, hopes the exhibition impresses the house's simplest and most vital message: "Be present. Stay out in the scene. Continually push new ideas and new experiences." For those familiar and unfamiliar with Ladosha and its antics "This Is Ur Brain" promises to be a new experience indeed. The casualness of Blair's expectations say it all, "I just want them to gag. And like it. Hopefully."
This Is Ur Brain opens this Friday the 15th with a kickoff celebration featuring performances by Sam Banks, The House of Ladosha, and a DJ set by Juliana Huxtable. It's on view by appointment only through February 28th.
Text Jeremy Lewis
Photography courtesy House of Ladosha
Black-and-white images Xeno