Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle
Machine Dazzle, to my mind, [is] a true theatrical genius who has created some of the most inventive costumes and sets I have ever seen. —Hilton Als, The New Yorker
Machine Dazzle is the much-in-demand designer and artist behind popular cabaret, drag, and performance stars such as Taylor Mac and transgender icon Mx. Justin Vivian Bond. For the first time, his over-the-top stage creations, made for himself and others, are collected here alongside stage environments, ephemera, and photos from his career.
In Machine Dazzle’s world, costumes are transformative objects with world-making capacity. The artist’s “queer maximalism” encapsulates a more-is-better attitude to making and creating, which looks to counter elitist notions that spectacle and extravagance are vapid. For him, these associations are embraced as queer for their affirmation of hybridity and the rejection of hierarchies of every kind.
On the occasion of a major exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, curator Elissa Auther brings together an expansive collection of essays and reminiscences from fellow performers, historians, and cultural critics that consider every aspect of Machine Dazzle’s rich body of work.