My Barbarian Non-Western

My Barbarian: Non-Western


“Gaines, Gordon, and Segade show us an element that is so often missing in today’s avant-garde: an atmosphere of play.” —Hilton Als, The New Yorker 

“My Barbarian has camped, queered and estranged the history of leftist politics and the institutionalization of their own practice…good naturedly playful and frequently hilarious.”
Art in America


Set in the California Republic of 1848, Non-Western is a quick-change musical fantasy that plays with the tropes of the Western genre, with a live rock band. Economic desires motivate its figures, from ranchero to coyote, who are portrayed through an unstable exchange of costumes, puppets, action figures and projections, all created by the founders of My Barbarian: Jade Gordon, Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade. Even as class drama drives the plot, the colonial situation confuses a Marxist analysis, and signals the kinds of appropriations and adaptations Marxist critique undergoes in the non-West. Overwhelmed by confounded sovereignty, the story climaxes in a confrontation between the Virgin Mary and a pterodactyl at the La Brea Tar Pits, reflecting the limits of human politics. Songs include “Toward a Leftist Positionality,” “Thanks to the Bank,” “White, White Girl,” and “When the Border Crosses You.” 

Associated Images: 


G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff