Bassy Club’s regular Pinky’s Peepshow slot on April 25 will still be filled by femme fatales in lavish costume, but this time in part to celebrate the Berlin book launch of Swedish photographer Elsa Quarsell’s new coffee table book, The Domestic Burlesque. The same faces grace the glossy, immodest pages which feature over 100 portraits of burlesquers and ‘boylesquers’.
The book aims to be more than a testament to the impressive visual art, incorporating the personalities of each performer. Cha Cha Boom Boom, for example, glues Posh Spice to her tits and complements her crotch with the face of David Beckham.
Quarsell accrued some hefty airmiles whilst working on the project, traveling from Tokyo to Texas and beyond, in order to capture a peek into their decadent and bizarre homes. She spent over two years shooting for the project, followed by her own burlesque-tailored interviews; constructed to supply an inexhaustible breadth of trivia surrounding the lives of her subjects.
She frames most of her work with furnishings of sequinned trinkets and vintage Americana, found within the colourful realms of each performers’ home, intent on reflecting the onstage persona of each artist. Their personas embrace sexual stereotypes – especially archetypal fantasies – and parody them; nothing if not amusing. Although reflective and responsive to the social status quo, it’s hard to find anything really provocative about this book when the intended audience is your average Rough Trade customer.
Nevertheless, there’s lots of fun to be had here. Joining Quarsell at the launch will be some of Berlin’s best burlesquers; the weird, wild and elegant Julietta La Doll, cute-cat-come-seductive-mistress Haydee Sparks, and fantasy fairy-taler Lady Lou. Dip your toes into the burlesque glitterati and watch the acts deconstruct and stimulate.
The Domestic Burlesque: book launch | Wed, Apr 25, 21:00 | Bassy Club, Schönhauser Allee, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz