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Pussy, King of the Pirates

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PUSSY, KING OF THE PIRATES

Postpunk, postmodern millennial writer Kathy Acker and the cult British punk band the Mekons are a good match, transgressors who use their considerable knowledge of literature and musical history to create angry, eloquent, highly eccentric works. Acker has a scholar's fondness for ransacking the classics to form the foundations of her literate, insightful, feral novels, designed to offend purists. Her most recent work, Pussy, King of the Pirates, hammers together elements of Treasure Island, The Story of O, and the life and rantings of actor/madman Antonin Artaud to form a crazy, brilliant, highly fragmented, sometimes mind-numbingly pornographic work about a punkish woman searching for the father who may have raped her and killed her mother; she falls in with a pack of rogue prostitutes who become pirates after a cataclysmic revolution. Similarly, the Mekons refuse to stay in their punk-rock box, collaborating in recent years with artists as various as Michelle Shocked and Vito Acconci, self-mutilation pioneer. Together Acker and the Mekons have created a stage work--half Rent-ish musical, half spoken-word performance--that combines funny, sexy, satirical sections of Acker's novel (which she reads aloud) with the Mekons' rocking forays into sea shanties and tongue-in-cheek experiments with disco. Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. September 19 through 21: Friday-Sunday, 7:30 PM. $15. Note: Kathy Acker and the Mekons will sign their merchandise at the MCA bookstore on Saturday at 5 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Free. Also: the Mekons perform in concert at the MCA theater at 10 PM on Saturday following the regular show. Tickets for the concert are $15; for more information, call 312-397-4010. --Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Kathy Acker photo by Kate Simon.

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