I-CON is an extended piece of performance art that raises the issues and fetish of iconicity, refracted through gay (musical) icons. Through performative tactics, it attempts to question the implicit notion of praxis through consumption, the proliferation and fashion of celebrity, and how media constitutes a noveau religion (with its construction of saints and martyrs). I-CON explores if camp can function as commentary.
Beginning in Spring of 2013, Stephen shows up at open mic events/venues in the “Gay Village” of Toronto (and potentially other cities) the week of a (musical) gay icon’s birthday/death in a nondescript attire. When he takes his turn at the mic, he disrupts audience expectations by performing the gay icon’s signature song in their persona and vocal style.
A special edition of I-CON evoking Marlene Dietrich is part of FRANKFURTWERK series of pieces entitled GEBROCHENGEL
CONCEIVED & PERFORMED BY: STEPHEN CHEN | COMPLETED 2013