(Originally published on CVNTY, 2013)
By Niall Connolly
In May 2013 I travelled to Glasgow for the Arika 5: Hidden In Plain Sight festival, a celebration of the past, present and future of vogue and ballroom culture. Among those performing at the festival were Vjuan Allure, legendary dancer Pony Zion, and DJ Sprinkles, whose connection with voguing goes back to hir residency at famous New York trans*/drag bar Sally's 2 in the early '90s.
I conducted an in-depth interview with Sprinkles about vogue culture that touched on many other subjects like politics, activism and gender expression, as well as notions of “spirituality” found within house music, and Sprinkles' reaction to those ideas within hir own work as Terre Themlitz.
The following is an abridged version of the interview, which can be read in full (3 parts) by clicking here
You are primarily known as a "deep house" dj and producer, and yet so many elements of that culture have to do with "spirituality", and not even a religious spirituality. In the UK, I feel, house music culture and the drugs that surrounded it was in a way a kind of secular spiritual rebirth, though it didn't have a language to express that necessarily. I find it very interesting that you are directly oppositional to that.I am directly oppositional to that, but I also have no hope of crowds of people overcoming those spiritual subtexts. But the promise of overcoming is not what is important, resistance is what is important.
But do you find that your position alienates you from certain parts of the house music genre? Are there songs you wouldn't play?Absolutely there are things that I won't play. But there are also things like that I will play, I just happen to like them in some way. And I will deal with them. Like "Inspiration" by Arnold Jarvis, a track that is politically antithetical to my own nihilism. But I love it! And the irony of a track like that in one of my sets is not lost on everyone. You have to allow for humour, and camp. And hypocrisy, and "the fake" and all these things that are also a part of drag culture and transgender culture... I guess for those reading this who don't know anything about me, we should mention I identify as transgender, by the way...
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