Humor and the Abject

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Erin Markey: A Primer

Image of Erin Markey from BOMB Magazine. 

This week on the Humor and the Abject podcast, I got the chance to catch up with Erin Markey. I'll be posting the podcast tomorrow night so that it's in your feed for Monday morning. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some of her work. I'm not sure if there is anything that Markey cannot do. She's got an outrageously great and unique singing voice, commands the stage as an actor and performer, is adored by pretty much everyone in the world, and she's funny as all fuck. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her if you're not already a fan. 

The above video, from a performance by Markey at Joe's Pub's series OUR HIT PARADE, is probably a perfect introduction to her persona. She manages to turn a pop love ballad into a horrifying stalker anthem that feels absolutely threatening. 

When I first met Markey, she was in the middle of performing a run of A Ride on the Irish Cream at Abrons Art Center. Watch the video above to hear a little about it in her own words. After seeing the show and being completely floored by it, I got the opportunity to interview her and write a piece for Art in America's First Look series about her. You can read that here

After the piece came out, the magazine asked if I'd put together a YouTube playlist of some of Markey's greatest hits. It was a stupidly fun assignment, as it essentially meant that I was paid to just sit and watch hours of her videos. You can read a little summation and link through to the playlist here

During our conversation on the podcast, she let me know that she's going to be performing in this year's Time-Based Arts Festival in Portland, OR, produced by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Personally, attending PICA's TBA Festival each year were some of the most formative and important art experiences in my entire life. As a student at PNCA years ago, I waited all year for them to announce the line-up and then immediately signed up to volunteer as much as physically possible. Through the festival, I met so many highly influential artists who completely shifted my perspective on what contemporary performance art could be. Shout out to their team for consistently putting on one of the best things Portland has to offer annually.

Markey be doing her show Boner Killer, which was also part of this year's Under the Radar Festival in New York. If you'll be in Portland on September 11th (yes, seriously), you absolutely must go see it. It doesn't look like individual show tickets are available just yet, but I'm sure that they will be soon. You can buy a pass to the festival right now though if you'd like. She's also taking the show through the UK and a few other US cities this fall. 

I'm looking forward to sharing the podcast with everyone. Stay tuned, screedlers.