Today, Friday, July 30, NY PopsUp is hosting a free reading of Brontez Purnell’s ‘100 Boyfriends’ on Rashid Johnson’s Stage in the Courtyard at MoMA PS1. Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist from Triana, Alabama based in Oakland, California.
Visit the Bookstore or link below to pick up a SIGNED copy of ‘100 Boyfriends’ and join us on July 30 at 5:30 PM to hear excerpts read by the author himself. Tickets to the event are included in Museum entry. Visit momaps1.org to reserve your spot!
‘100 Boyfriends’ shares intimate and humorous recounts of fictional, though entrancing, gay relationships: childhood bullies/crushes, long-term partners, friends with benefits, co-worker’s husbands, Satanist hookups… These relationships– no matter the extent– are each told from the perspective of a new narrator, all Black, all q***r, and all longing for a sense of belonging and care. As Purnell has been called “a living archive of the Bay’s q***r and punk scenes,” the stories he creates are reflective of his own experiences and those of the q***r communities in the American South and the San Francisco Bay Area. Through each voice, Purnell’s tone shifts between desire, tenderness, eroticism, curiosity, naiveté, pain, and countless more emotions all can identify with. His characters are heroes in their own ways, even as they “tiptoe through minefields of romantic, substance-fueled misadventure,” With each page revolving around the “boyfriend,” we can’t help but wonder: What classifies as a boyfriend?
“My mother had explained to me that buildings needed human breath in them to keep them moist and held together,” one character recalls. “Abandoned buildings are like abandoned people — they die sooner.” –Brontez Purnell, ‘100 Boyfriends’
Rashid Johnson’s Stage, the location of Friday’s reading, is a participatory installation that draws from the history of the microphone as a tool for protest as well as a lyrical reference in hip-hop since the 1980s. This yellow powder-coated stage is sprawling with Johnson’s signature markings and supports five SM58 microphones that echo throughout the exterior of the museum. Any and all guests are welcome to speak, sing, protest, or rejoice by means of the Stage and MoMA PS1 is ecstatic to welcome Brontez Purnell.