Narcissister Organ Player

“Instrument—Body:” Film Screening—Narcissister’s “Organ Player”

Friday, November 17, 2023 at 4:30pm
Ring Family Performing Arts Hall


“Instrument—Body” is a series of performances, presented in conjunction with the seminar of the same name and curated by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and cellist Ethan Philbrick, that will stage musical encounters in site-specific locations across the Wesleyan University campus this fall.  

Read Music in Unexpected Spaces in The Wesleyan Connection.

The works by these visiting artists examine the tension between being and playing a body and an instrument through both improvised and scored compositions. What does it mean to make yourself an instrument? To be instrumentalized? Is the instrument an extension of the body or a body all its own, and what does it mean to play and be played by it?

This event will feature the screening of the film “Organ Player” by artist and performer Narcissister, followed by a conversation between the artist and Alisha Simmons ’24, a senior Theater and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major taking Philbrick's course, MUSC 232 “Instrument—Body.”

"Organ Player" is a hybrid performance/documentary film that explores how ancestral data is stored in our bodies, impacting the lives we lead. On the personal level, the film investigates how the artist's complex family history compelled her to create the masked, erotic performance character Narcissister.

Narcissister is a Brooklyn-based artist and performer. Masked and merkin-ed, she works at the intersection of dance, art, and activism in a range of media including live performance, film, video, collage, and sculpture. She presents work worldwide at festivals, nightclubs, museums, and galleries. She won “Best Use of a Sex Toy” at Good Vibrations Erotic Film Festival, a Bessie nomination for the theatrical performance “Organ Player,” Creative Capital and United States Artists Awards, and interested in troubling the popular entertainment and experimental art divide, she appeared on America’s Got Talent. Her first feature film “Narcissister Organ Player” premiered at Sundance 2018. Her activist short film “Narcissister Breast Work” premiered at Sundance 2020 and won a Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short at Outfest 2021. She is currently working on her first museum commission, a sculpture for the “Cult of Beauty” exhibition at the Wellcome Collection London.

Image above: Narcissister, Organ Player, film still.
Thumbnail image: Narcissister, self-portrait, 2022.