Juliana Huxtable x Montreal

Juliana Huxtable in conversation with Mikhel Proulx on Jan. 20 at D. B. Clarke Theatre, Concordia University.

Yesterday was the day I met with text-base, cosplay-inspired not-model-slash artist Juliana Huxtable. First of all, without me knowing, the fact that I was having lunch with her and a couple of new friends at Concordia was a political act. Here is how the CSU advertised the lunch:

"The CSU will be hosting Juliana Huxtable for a talk on January 20th. While she is in Montreal, we would like to invite several students to meet Juliana over a casual lunch. The lunch is a non-mixe event exclusively for Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals. Individuals have until January 20th to RSVP. Spots are limited so please confirm asap."

And you'll never guessed what happened: yes, White people wanted to boycott this lunch because it wasn't open to them. I do not wish to write a lot about this, because I do not wish to give any importance to #whitefragility, especially since yesterday was the epitomy of #whitefragility with the Inauguration. 

Back to the lunch: After Juliana sat next to me (#fangirling, #starstruck) we proceed to introduce one another. I met people from Concordia, alumnae of the school, people who snuck in with their friends, crew from the dopest artist-run centre, two super dope DJ and a Jazz scholar. We spent time telling Juliana about the context of Montreal (hypocrisy, racism, mockery of Laval - yes that was only me hahaha), the art world, performance, DJ life and nightlife. What I liked the most was to hear how people view Montreal, but also how people lived their Montreal experience. I have to say that I know Juliana Huxtable as an artist, and a lot of people know her more or as much as a DJ. It was really interesting to hear Huxtable talk about how her life as a DJ and her work in the nightlife allows her to be independent financially and to make work that is not necessarily tainted by struggle. It really inspired me to let go of my ego and find work that mostly pay the bills (and debts) while also doing the work I do. 

Fast forward to the evening, when she gave a talk with Mikhel Proulx (WTF CSU you guys started the event really late without any some sort of apology.) at Concordia. The more she talked, the more I realized I had a lot in common with her (Angelfire and Geocities websites, obsession with Tumblr as an escape, being a heavy documenter).

One of the points that was of particular interest to me was the discussion related to fashion. All the fashion collaboration that Huxtable has made started from encounters at her night club night SHOCK VALUE; she met Umberto Leon there, she had a chat with Eckhaus Latta, and they simply decided to collaborated together. I love how simply and how small-worldly all this has happened.  

Something else I have in common with Huxtable is how she sees clothes and her wardrobe. It all started when she was getting ready to go out. Shopping was a way to understand her desire. What is she interested in, and what the clothes she wishes to buy or the looks she is going for tell her about what she is obsessed with. What desire is manifested with the clothes and style she is (and you are) obsessed with? I never stopped to think about it this way. Currently, I am obsessed with having a makeover, changing my look and my wardrobe. This is for another post, but last night's talk really gave me food for thoughts on the subject.

I feel like Juliana Huxtable is like a long lost twin sister to me and I am hoping to work with her at some point, or at least go to a SHOCK VALUE party. I also hope to see more of her work.