Genre-Defying Artist Machine Dazzle
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will present Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle, the first solo exhibition dedicated to the genre-defying artist Matthew Flower (US, b. 1972), better known as Machine Dazzle. A provocateur commanding an expanding repertoire of stagecraft, design, performance, and music, Machine Dazzle is a virtuoso practitioner of queer maximalism’s aesthetic language of gay liberation.
On view from September 10, 2022 through February 19, 2023, the exhibition brings together more than 80 of the artist’s creations for stage, spectacles, and street theater, alongside a variety of environments, ephemera, material samples, photography, and video. Together, they chronicle the metamorphosis of Flower, a closeted suburban kid from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, into “Machine Dazzle,” the queer experimental theater genius.
On view are both Machine Dazzle’s famous collaborations with drag and performance luminaries such as the Dazzle Dancers and Mx Justin Vivian Bond, among others, as well as the artist’s recent emergence from behind the scenes to center stage of his own artistic life. Installed on two floors of the Museum, the multimedia exhibition culminates with the first public installation of the more than two dozen tour-de-force costumes created by the artist for himself and his long-time collaborator Taylor Mac to wear in the queer performance art concert production, Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (2016), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.