Narcissister Organ Player
From crotch-baring TMZ appearances with Marilyn Manson to an Absolutely Fabulous shout-out to museum exhibitions, performance artist Narcissister is quite the provocateur. In her first feature, Narcissister directs this fascinating documentary and performance art hybrid about her life, revealing the vulnerable, multifaceted artist behind the spectacle. Often topless and wearing a mask and a merkin, Narcissister combines dance, acrobatics, striptease, and vaudevillian humor in her art, which tackles issues of gender, racial identity, consumption, and sexuality.
Being biracial and growing up in California, where the dominant beauty aesthetic was white blondes with straight hair, Narcissister created characters that addressed her burgeoning dissatisfaction with not fitting in. With a Moroccan Jewish mother who had crippling health issues and an African American father whose many life achievements never fully shielded him or his family from racism, she honors her upbringing and family history with her work. The film uses animation, performances, videos, and narration, punctuated by her mother’s poems to show how her childhood experiences shaped her artistic persona. While Narcissister insists that her character is separate from herself—and indeed, we never see her unmasked and even photos are partially obscured—Narcissister Organ Player still manages to be fully intimate, moving, and beautiful.
— ANGELIQUE SMITH
This film contains sexually explicit material.
San Francisco Art Institute
- Language: In English and French with English subtitles
- Premiere Status: West Coast