The House of Alexander
02 July 2022
6.30pm - 8.30pm
Spend your Saturday in the gallery with Meanjin’s trailblazing ballroom house, House of Alexander, for a special one night only event.
Ballroom culture emerged in competitions known as ‘balls’, with its roots tracing back to the drag competitions in the 1920s. Today, it is a way of life and an act of survival especially for the marginalised voices of the queer black indigenous persons of colour (BIPOC) community.
We are excited to welcome House of Alexander into the gallery to do something a little different. House of Alexander’s members will respond individually to Jenn Nkiru’s exhibition REBIRTH IS NECESSARY in a performance medley not to be missed. Though a series of acts using poetry, movement, dance and culture, members will showcase their individual practices and explore how they intersect with each other to create their community.
Doors at 6.30pm to view Jenn Nkiru’s installation, the responsive performances will begin at 7pm.
We invite you to come as you are. Limited seating will be available for those who need it.
Jenn Nkiru is an award-winning visionary artist and director. Nkiru’s first solo exhibition in Australia REBIRTH IS NECESSARY is currently on show at the IMA. REBIRTH IS NECESSARY explores the magic and dynamism of Blackness in a realm where time and space are altered. The now, the past, and the future are rethought and reordered to create something soulful and mind-bendingly visceral.
We are committed to making the IMA accessible to people of all abilities, their families, and carers as well as visitors of different ages and different backgrounds. There is wheelchair access and an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities also located on the ground floor and we welcome guide and support dogs. To find out more contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3252 5750. Read our access information for visitors here.
In the name of Alexander the Great, House of Alexander is Meanjin’s (Brisbane) pioneering ballroom house, founded in 2019 by Ella Ganza (Mother of the House of Alexander & Daughter of the Iconic Father Javier Ninja) together with Joshua Taliani (Father of the House of Alexander).
Born in the vibrant streets of Harlem, New York, ‘voguing’ or ‘vogue’ is a highly stylised form of dance created by black and Latino LGBTQ+ communities. Between the 1960s and 1980s the culture emerged in competitions known as ‘balls’, with its roots tracing back to the drag competitions in the 1920s. As seen in the documentary Paris is Burning and television series Pose, voguers would compete for trophies and cash prizes, battling for the reputation of their ‘Houses’. Ballroom houses offer a safe space for queer black indigenous persons of colour (BIPOC). Most houses have a ‘Mother’ and a ‘Father’ who take on a mentoring role as surrogates, often providing their children with a home and a place where they belonged and accepted, while they compete against the other ballroom houses.
Today, ballroom is more than just a competition but rather a way of life, and an act of survival especially for the marginalised voices in our community. With the intention of empowerment and reclamation of our autonomy, its essence ultimately celebrates queer bodies of all shapes and sizes and all identities within the gender spectrum.