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performance

Ann Liv Young

Ann Liv Young, Sherry, 2007. Performance view, MoMA PS1, New York, February 27, 2010. Sherry (Ann Liv Young). Photo: Jeremy Fredericksen.

IF SHERRY WERE ANY GOOD, she wouldn’t have to insult other people. The Kitchen in New York won’t present her work again, she guesses, “because I’m nasty to the audience.” Sherry sure is nasty. And mercurial, brash, honest, and mean. Her T. J. Maxx business-class drag (blond wig, makeup, pumps, polyester dress) exudes arriviste confidence: “It’s amazing / I’m the reason / everybody’s fired up this evenin’,” Sherry sings crazily, with gusto, atop the Kanye West anthem “Amazing.” This isn’t appropriation or karaoke; this is competitive Pop. Sherry sings not with the original track—played via iTunes from an onstage MacBook—but over it. She is so contemptuously over it.

Sherry both is and is not the artist Ann Liv Young. And Young onstage is and is not Young offstage. (Young offstage is a more or less dubious construct, too.) “I’m interested in characters playing other

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