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CounterPULSE is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. We provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture.

Monique Jenkinson (AKA Fauxnique)

Artist Fellow at the de Young (FEB 15, 2012 – DEC 31, 2012)

monique image

Photographer: Daniel Kokin; Pictured: Monique Jenkinson (AKA Fauxnique)

As a de Young Museum 2012 Irvine Fellow, Monique Jenkinson will engage with the museum’s permanent collection and current exhibitions, specifically the textile/fashion collection. She will create performances specifically for the de Young site, branch into video work, and in a September museum studio residency, make a piece to premiere at CounterPULSE in the late Fall.

Engagement Partners:

Media Sponsor:

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Instrument (To be performed at CounterPULSE, Fall 2012)


Past CounterPULSE Performances:

Crying in Public, 2007 ARC Residency

Luxury Items, 2010


Making Scenes
APR 27, Friday Night at the de Young
5:00 – 8:45PM

curated by 2012 de Young Artist Fellow
Monique Jenkinson (aka Fauxnique)
choreographed, created & performed by Monique Jenkinson, Rotimi Agbabiaka, Joseph Copely, Lambert Moss, Justin Morrison, Maryam Rostami, Helen Shumaker & Carlos Venturo.
The night also features: Some Thing’s DJ Downey & Bear Z. Bub spinning quirky tracks throughout the evening

A collaboration between Some Thing’s ‘Project Runtover’ and the deYoung’s ‘Hands on Art-making for Everyone’.
Haute Gloo, Vivvyanne Forevermore, Glamamore (as Tim Gumm) and Seth Eisen instigate and oversee the craft table.
The result is a wondrous fashion parade featuring Honey Mahagony, Lil’ Miss Hot Mess and more!

Waiyde Palmer, longtime artist, activist, bartender, and self-proclaimed ‘club-crawler’ will give a talk on the history of queer club cultures in SF and beyond, and how they have been shaped by changes in our political & cultural landscape and how they have shaped them, how they were devastated by AIDS and how they have managed to survive and recreate themselves.

Tim Carr
The vivacious and extremely talented Tim Carr plays a live set of seriously danceable electro-pop. ’A perfect blend of flavors… dancey, dark, silly, fun.’

DJ Stanley Frank
(Viennetta Discotheque, Daytime Realness, Some Thing) spins an irresistible collection of disco, euro-disco and freestyle.

Dance Discourse Project #13
SEP 15, SAT at 2PM

Monique Jenkinson

Monique Jenkinson is a performer and maker of performance whose work moves between genres, but maintains deep roots in dance. Her work explores femininity, glamour and process – drawing on physicality (classical ballet and post-modern improvisation), theatricality (camp, the ridiculous and the absurd), and theory (queer and feminist). She presents her work in theaters, nightclubs and museums, and seeks to explore connections and tensions between art and entertainment.

Jenkinson emerged out of a feminist, postmodern, improvisational dance and choreographic lineage, but grew toward a tradition of radical queer performance that uses decadence and drag to entertain, transcend and horrify. “Yvonne Rainer said ‘no to spectacle’ so that I could say yes to sequins.” Rather than reject the traditional trappings of performance and the performance of femininity, Jenkinson embraces them. Her practice of feminism celebrates glamorous women as masters of artifice, and her intimacy with both the oppressive and empowering effects of feminine tropes allows her to create a zone of play from which she makes her particular critique.

Since 2003, Jenkinson has been deeply engaged in an ongoing performance project, Fauxnique, her drag queen persona. As a lens through which Jenkinson magnifies her artistic concerns, Fauxnique typifies and expands a particular evolution of drag-based performance that goes beyond camp show-tunes into the realms of punk, horror, high drama, and gender subversion. Her short, sharp, entertaining drag numbers dovetail with her theatrical works by showing the classical rigor and specificity of her movement exploration, and transcending their pop form, with references not only to popular culture, but also to art, history and politics. In this realm, the definition of ‘drag queen’ expands from ‘man as woman’ into another kind of mutable creature, allowing Jenkinson to embody Fauxnique as a clown, monster or diva, but always with an exaggerated sense of glamour and femininity.

Jenkinson engages in constant, critical examination of the intersections and differences between her nightclub-going and theater/dance-based audiences. In all of her work she strives to invite, reveal and communicate: to acknowledge the shared experience between performer and observer.

monique feet image

Monique Jenkinson is a multifaceted artist whose work places itself in the gaps between dance, theater, drag and performance art. She has created and performed internationally and locally at ODC Theater, CounterPULSE, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the de Young Museum, and Trannyshack in San Francisco; the New Museum, Judson Church, Danspace Project, Howl Festival and the legendary Stonewall in New York; the Met Theatre in Los Angeles; the New Orleans Fringe Festival; the Coachella Festival; and in Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and London.

Monique’s drag queen alter ego, Fauxnique, a prolific fixture on the experimental performance scene, made history as the first woman to win San Francisco’s infamous Miss Trannyshack Pageant and was named ‘Best Drag Act’ (2009) in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay Readers’ Poll. She also appears in the documentary Filthy Gorgeous: the Trannyshack Story and the April/May ’08 issue of Bust magazine.

Notable projects and accolades include: a de Young Museum Irvine Fellowship for 2012, two successful solo shows (Faux Real, which played in New York and London after a sold-out San Francisco run, and Luxury Items, which culminated to acclaim at CounterPULSE after a sold out premiere at ODC Theater), playing the DIRT (a role originated by Justin Bond) in Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge at the Magic Theater and originating the eponymous role in Silver for Gold: the Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick by David J. (of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets fame), visual art exhibitions Scores (Lawrimore Project, Seattle) and Presence (Torrance Art Museum), Truly Madly Deeply at the Movement Research Festival in New York, vocals and video for the club dance track ‘Lipstique,’ a Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery (GOLDIE) Award for Performance, SF Weekly’s ‘Best Performance Artist 2010,’ and 7X7 Magazine’s ‘Hot 20 Under 40.’

Monique spent five years as co-director (with actor Kevin Clarke) of the performance duo Hagen & Simone, is a past artist-in-residence at ODC Theater and CounterPULSE, and a 2007 recipient (with mentor Keith Hennessey) of the CHIME Grant. Her solo and collaborative work has also received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and Theatre Bay Area. She has a B.A. in Dance and Literature from Bennington College.


Monique Jenkinson's Blogs

Monique Jenkinson at the de Young
Apr 25th, 2012

When I set out to create an experience for Friday April 27th (both curating the evening and creating a performance), I knew it would be inspired by the work of Jean Paul Gaultier.

I did not know that it would lead into such a process of inquiry.

I am struck by Gaultier’s interest in difference –of shape, size, age, color and culture – which he celebrates in an irreverent but generous way. Playing with cultural costume (including counter- and queer-cultural costume), he creates a collage – layers of meaning and provocation. One of his favorite phrases is ‘Why not?’, which speaks to a spirit of inclusion.

In response, I have attempted to create a performance collage acknowledging and celebrating difference instead of any kind of ‘blindness’.

I gathered a group of people – people I like, people I wanted to get to know better, people from different places than each other, and than me. I wanted them for their skill, but also because of who they are (and am very blessed to have them together for this process).

I remembered something my ballet teacher exclaimed during class once, as praise – ‘Ah, yes, that’s it! It is the dance of our people.’ That became the title and premise for making the work. It is also my contribution to Bay Area Dance Week, a major project of organizational partner Dancers’ Group. ‘What is the dance of your people?’ I asked at the outset, and we came up with a host of answers, source material, questions, and problems with the question.

Who are my people? Do they have a dance?
What if they don’t have a dance?
What if I feel alienated from my people?
Who are my people?

What are the tensions and commonalities between our given and chosen people, families, tribes, and scenes? How do we proclaim, hide, contrast, and combine our cultural experiences and histories through self-presentation? How do we make it up?

I called the evening Making Scenes, with multiple meaning. Of course, if you put a bunch of dramatic types in a room together, drama might ensue. To make a scene is also to upset the status quo. But I am really interested in the making part. How do we create our worlds? Sometimes a ‘scene’ (pejoratively, something shallow) becomes a tribe or a family.

This resonates especially with our lecture by longtime activist and bartender Waiyde Palmer, Schooling the Children: It Came from Club Häagen-Dazs. What started out as a bunch of kids literally making a scene in their workplace, gave birth to nightclubs that many queer folk would call home and refer to as ‘church.’ This community-creation is one of the main tenets of organizational partner CounterPULSE

When telling a friend about the beginnings of ‘Our People’ he reacted with: ‘Ooooh, girl, It’s a Small World After All! United Colors of Bennetton!’ and I thought: ‘Noooo! Not clichéd togetherness!’ And then I thought: ‘Why not?’ I can’t deny the formative power of ‘It’s a Small World’ or Bennetton. When I look at them both with the critical eye of my 90s education in identity and difference, it’s easy to be cynical, but when I look deeper, I have to credit them with shaping my politics. (And deeper still, I realize that the similarities between the Gaultier exhibition and the Disney ride are uncanny.)

Just when I think that many questions about diversity and difference might be kind of tired, I realize that apparently they are not exhausted. Achieving harmony in difference is a major theme right now.

The early 90s were also the height of a vibrant and irreverent club culture that I basically missed because I was reading and arguing with my housemate in a very politicized living room about all the things that we found ‘problematic.’ These were crucial discussions to have, but they left me petrified.

When I started really going to clubs, relatively late in life, I experienced a vital culture shock. Suddenly, I found myself in the midst of a group of all kinds of folks who were irreverent, smart, powerful and free. It wasn’t that nothing was problematic, it was just that this culture seemed to value the project of seeing the problematic from all of its angles without trying to smooth all them out. This is also Gaultier’s world. From my former vantage point (early 90s politics), it is easy to find much of his work problematic. The truth is, I still do. And I love it.



Monique Jenkinson at the de Young
Mar 1st, 2012

My fellowship at the de Young Museum/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco begins now!

All year I will be working at the de Young – researching, creating, performing – enjoying this incredible opportunity to expand the scope and context of my work, to interact with the museum’s collections and curators, to ignite new collaborations, and to bring some of my favorite past collaborators with me to the museum.

Starting Wed 2/15  I will begin a 2-week residency at the de Young’s Kimball Education Gallery. Wed 2/15 – Sun 2/26, from 3-5PM my studio working process will be free and open to the public. I hope you will join me as I explore, plot, write, discuss, choreograph, and practice.

The museum, my collaborators and I have an ambitious and exciting year planned.

First in line is new work I am creating and performing in dialogue with the exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk and a potential performance in connection with The Cult of Beauty: the Victorian Avant Garde at the Legion of Honor.

I will keep you posted here, on my de Young Artist Fellow page, and through my other partner organization, Dancers’ Group.

Monique Jenkinson MR Fest 10

Photo: Julieta Cervantes