Juliana Huxtable is a New York-based poet, artist, model, and DJ. In her work, Huxtable explores the mutating nature of identity, utilizing race, gender and queerness as mediums to explore post-identity politics. Huxtable was included in the 2015 New Museum Triennial and additionally had her poetry featured in the runway soundtrack for the Hood by Air fall/winter 2014 fashion show. Huxtable also has a forthcoming performance slated for the 2015 installment of the Performa biennial in New York.
Huxtable’s Consumer Report happens during a week spent in Los Angeles, where the artist is in town for a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Step and Repeat showcase. In that time, a lot of eating happens (one meal at the legendary King Buffet), and the sometimes-confusing landscape of LA is explored via Uber Pool. Plus: a free upgrade to a suite at The Standard, art shows, and a lot more! -John Chiaverina
Monday, July 20
Wake up in Borna’s room – begin to pack, obsessively listening to ZUZUT’s Soundcloud page.
Call Matt, get check-in information for The Standard, Downtown.
Go to Standard desk, ask if there’s an early check-in and they end up upgrading us, for free (HAM!) to a 12th floor suite.
There’s an absurd amount of space, a giant tub, a giant fridge, and a giant bed. Endearingly 00s minimalist décor and furnishings adorn the sunlit room. The air conditioner is blasting. The room seems a fitting symbolic home base for my LA vacation.
Arrive at MOCA to check out Elaine Sturtevant exhibit and displayed works from the museum collection.
Walk through the Sturtevant exhibit. Her writing is sharp and funny at times. Twice I laughed out loud. I note to look into her writing when I’m back in New York.
I discover Elliot Hundley, am instantly obsessed–I have a lot of rollover data so I’m frantically looking up his other work.
Some of Ana Mendieta’s Silueta Works in Mexico is on display–she’s one of my art idols and it’s the first time I’ve seen any of her work in person. I get a bit angry and sad thinking about her death. She operated at an intersection that I really relate to and it is sad to see her–and the rare position she carved for herself–gain momentum largely through the scandal surrounding her murder.
I snap a photo of Betye Sarr’s Gris Gris Box.
Head out from MOCA, got a lot of feedback from the guard about my performance–most seemed to like it, I’m honored.
Eat a meal that’s way too big at Seasalt Fish Grill. Maybe the portions are larger in LA?
Back at Standard to change and let the gradual intestinal expansion occur undisturbed by muscular extension.
Go to rooftop of Standard, briefly swim, lay by the pool, and decide against staying longer. The shade of the sunset is beginning to make sunlit portions of the terrace a limited resource, and the patrons are clamoring.
Wake up from a brief quasi-nap and look up places with outside seating and drinking in one of the nearby neighborhoods.
I call an Uber Pool (shockingly cheap here) and head to a Disneyland-camp style Mexican restaurant to continue overeating. We drink margaritas, have a drink at one other bar, and are back and passed out in a food coma by 10:30.
Tuesday, July 21 (Matt’s Birthday)
Wake up, tell Matt happy birthday and Google:
“yoga for bowel movement”
“warm water bath and bowel movement”
Can’t seriously indulge the idea of doing yoga.
Feel gross and bloated (I was on a cleanse for 2 months prior to arriving in L.A.) from severe overeating, so we decide to walk through Downtown and Echo Park–six miles. We’re surrounded by street murals.
Make our way back to Standard and I take a long bath. It feels like a crime given the drought, but the bath is too tempting. Matt thinks that the almond oil I put in the water makes it slimy–I think it’s a white ppl thing.
Post a photo of me in the tub to Instagram.
Make a trip to Lassens to pick up Aloe Vera Juice and some lotion (the air is a bit dry, and the cheap Uber Pools make impulse shopping without a car so easy). I’m back in 30 minutes.
“heated pools LA”
“public pools LA”
“artificial beaches LA”
Send images to Flaunt magazine.
We walked towards East Hollywood.
Realize we’re going to be late for Matt’s bday dinner at King Buffet.
Arrive at King Buffet, binge eat for Matt’s bday (this is becoming a theme).
Waiter gives us check, seems impatient, we realize it’s closing so we head to Lock and Key to drink.
We arrive at Lock and Key. There’s a corny Jazz band playing, more people arrive, more birthday drinks.
At 2 a.m., we head back to the hotel.
Wednesday, July 22
Wake up, drink lemon water and I head to the underground mini-mall that caters to 9-5ers working downtown to get 2 smoothies from the health food place. I need one meal a day to provide some relief to my digestive system.
The radio show I recorded at PS1 with my friends and favorite DJs Joey Labeija and Anthony Dicapua is finally posted on NTS radio’s Mixcloud. I listen and post to Facebook.
We take a cab to Nick’s Cafe for yet another binge. We order two large plates and split them this time.
Leave Nick’s Cafe and begin our walk, first to Chinatown. Then we head towards Elysian Park (this is a long walk btw) and finally make it to Angel’s Point.
Finally reach Angels Point, Matt gets the perfect picture.
A bit delirious at this point, we leave park and enter into Echo Park neighborhood and look at the houses–jealous of vegetation, space. We verbalize our individual fantasies about living in L.A. for 2-3 months out of the year. Still ruminating on this, we make our way to a Lassens (my favorite store in LA), I have a smoothie and a lemon Luna protein bar.
Finally arrive back at the beloved Standard.
Read Harry’s article on new poetries, Page Break in Text Zur Kunst.
Walker arrives to pick us up, we catch up in the car and head to Guisados. We see Anthony and Lola. We all eat together, then head to Taix, a French bar that makes me think this is the type of place that you go to drink alone in.
I get a cocktail that’s way too sweet, then order my staple Manhattan with Bulleit Rye. The women’s bathroom has a separate powder room, it seems like the right moment for a selfie.
12:00 (ish) a.m.
Everyone parts ways–Matt, Walker and I head to a taco stand in the back of a gas station, eat, then Walker drops us off at the Standard.
Thursday, July 23
I wake up, drink lemon water, go get two smoothies from the mini-mall across the street.
I take a really long bath and text with friends back in New York. I have a call with my Jahmal, catch up on emails, and work on some logistics for a November show.
We all get smoothies at Beverly Hills Juice then head to the beach. We talk about the desert on the way there and experiences with racism in airports on the way to the beach. There are a lot of screaming people in the streets on the way.
We pass a store selling “Burning Man Supplies.” I note for future reference.
We’re on the beach – it’s amazing.
I get fish n’ chips and buy a sweatshirt in one of the stores.
Back at Mekahl’s house. He stays in, Tosh goes home, Matt and I call an Uber Pool.
First we go see “Blocking” at Martos Gallery. I’m into the show, especially the pieces by Hans-Christian Lotz and Henry Deposit. There’s a hanging sculptural piece by Mathis Collins that makes me nostalgic for nights at Tandem.
There’s an after-party at a nearby bar. I hate the music, so I select what I can from the jukebox. There’s a Fisherspooner album and it makes me think of Casey, who texted me earlier. The bouncer and his girlfriend, who is there, recognize me from nights in NY and we talk about the NY>LA exodus. The bar soon closes and we head “home.”
Friday, July 24
Wake up, drink lemon water, get two smoothies from the mini-mall across the street, take a long hot bath.
Text Sjoerd to confirm our lunch date and get dressed.
I arrive at Sqirl in Baldwin Hills, I haven’t seen Sjoerd in forever. We went to college together with Matt, Walker and Sydney at Bard. I eat something macrobiotic and we catch up on his life in Berlin (now LA) and my life in NY.
We head to Silverlake. I’ve never been before and I’m hoping it’s as entertaining as I hope it is based on what I’ve heard over the years. As we walk around and get a smoothie, I interrogate Sjoerd on what it’s like being married. He has to go to his editing job for some Bravo TV (I think?) show and I call an Uber.
While I’m waiting on my Uber, I have url-2-irl moment with an internet friend of mine Astral Eyez. We quickly chat and I hop in the car and head back to The Standard.
Get back to the hotel to finish editing my artist pages for the Monopol Sept. issue.
Matt gets back and passes out.
We walk to Chateau Shatto to see “Plagiarist of My Unconscious Mind.” Peggy Ahwesh–people’s champ, Bard professor and filmmaker/artist–has a video installation in the show that reminds me of New Media Animation’s News Service, a CGI-animated news video series that uses gamer-style graphics to depict current events. Sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always a bit dystopic. They were out of press release print-outs by the time we arrived. I planned to go back and see the show on my own, but that never happened.
Borna, Matt, and I go to The Original Pantry Cafe. I order the fried chicken, the servings are disgustingly large and I happily indulge.
We arrive stuffed at Fuego Lounge, where the after-party for the CS show is. The rooftop is fun in a hits-radio-sponsored-and-live-broadcast type of way. The novelty wears off shortly after we get there. At this point, LA is nice, but I’m craving some carnal release on a dance floor, a luxury I take for granted in New York.
We head to Chinatown and try out two parties that are literally next door to each other. The music is up and down and the dancing seems to be dwindling and I get a bit irritated. Some dude who lives in the place where one of the parties is happening decides to flip out on Mekahl and I, so we decide on a brief racial retreat walk around the block to not go off on him. I’m a bit over the party scene and Matt and I head back.
Saturday, July 25
Stop by Walgreens to pick up pool party favors, snap a #policestateselfie.
A photo posted by Juliana Huxtable (@julianahuxtable) on
Poorly coordinate pick up with our Uber-pool driver and spend 15 minutes hopping around the same intersection.
Stop at Polla a la Brasa and order a 1/2 chicken with black beans, salad and avocado.
Poorly coordinate pick up with another Uber-pool driver.
Arrive in Beverly Hills at our friend (and fellow Bardian) Taylor’s pool party at her childhood house. I shamelessly play with children’s inflatables in a large heated pool. I’m now fully indulging L.A. escapism.
We leave Taylor’s house with Walker and go to Canters–I eat AGAIN and sort of regret it immediately.
I’m in line to get into a club called Circus Disco. There are huge projections, stacked television monitors, and sculptural installations everywhere. I’m not sure who made them or if they think of themselves as an “artist” but I’m sort of obsessed with the club oasis around me. I’m craving hip-hop and around 2 find a separate part of the club only playing hip-hop from the 00’s.
Text Frankie a video I took earlier of one of the go-go boys downstairs–he’s a go-go boy connoisseur and the gaudy silver underwear made me think of his camp inclinations. He texts me back a shot of him and Dosha, who made her DJ debut back in NYC.
Wake up, drink lemon water, avoid the smoothie bar in Equinox, and opt for a walk to find a place.
Back in the room. Sadly, my sponsored stay in The Standard is ending. We check out at 12:53 and hop in a car for our one night of sensible lodging at the Travelodge in Little Armenia.
We check in, put our stuff down.
Walk down the street to get Filipino food at L.A. Rose Cafe Restaraunt.
Lay by the pool and take a nap.
We head for the metro station and take the subway for the first time. It’s nice enough, although I can’t take it too seriously.
Arrive at 365 Mission to meet Walker and Matt’s friends Syndney and Cooper to watch Pestoni’s Picks: You Are My Everlovin Enema Bandit Hardcore, a showcase of short (and one not-so-short) films at the space, which is adjacent to Ooga Booga. The first film is beautiful, although a test of endurance. Five people around me are asleep by the end. I really like Suji Terayama’s Laura and Ulrike Rosenbach’s Tanz für eine Frau. The Enema Bandit makes me (and the rest of the theater) laugh, but I’m stuck with a lingering ugh…really? over the racial “humor” deployed by Andy in the beginning of the film. In times like these, it’s easier to blindly assume I “just don’t get it.”
We left, got tacos with Sydney, and then Matt and I walked home, past the Scientology building (which was down the street from our hotel), and went to bed.
The next morning, I left for an afternoon flight.