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Callista remnants
Callista remnants

exhibition element

Callista showgirl backpiece
Callista showgirl backpiece

costume element

Callista Merkin
Callista Merkin

costume element

Callista in a fur coat

Callista in a Fur Coat is a stage performance created in resonance with the artist collective I, Daughter of Kong Center for Research, founded in Rio Vista in 1978; and in response to a request made by exhibition guest curator, artist Alyssa Taylor Wendt:


It has been brought to our attention that since the 1970 discovery of the film fragment showing the half-blonde woman, half-ape creature we call I, Daughter of Kong, a number of cults, religious sects and fringe groups have appeared, around the figure of Her. Primum Movens or “unmoved mover” is the term Aristotle used to describe a being perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation: itself contemplating. IDOKCFR found this to be a common departure point for these disparate groups: I, Daughter of Kong as first or final cause, literally or figuratively the next Messiah, a thought-poem from the collective unconscious, a cosmology mapping gravitational forces and light—a central sphere around which all celestial bodies revolve. IDOKCFR found willing disciples, former-practitioners & citizen scientists to assist with the collection of information about these groups and their practices. 

Accompanied on piano by noted bi-coastal music director Brandon Adams, who co-created the performance's classic-Broadway-style musical numbers, the artist tells three stories simultaneously: the romantic and tragic adventures of Callista, 1920s blonde but beastly circus sideshow star pimped by her unfeeling boss as intimate entertainment for the wealthiest experience-seekers, who escapes to Paris to become its most celebrated chanteuse draped in her signature floor-length mink coat; the hard-boiled  showmistress who turns Callista's story into a soon-to-be-lost-to-history Broadway musical; and the musical-theatre-obsessed religious fanatic who discovers the show's remants in a fire and begins a quest to resurrect what she considers the greatest show character and spiritual guide of all time. All three learn the most essential lesson, as stated in the musical's signature song: "Step Out of Your Fur Coat, and Into Your Fur." 

Callista in a Fur Coat is available for performance.

The artist thanks the following for their help with this project: 

Presentation Partner: Sean Gaulager of Co-Lab Projects