My Barbarian
Past event


REDCAT and Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles present Double Future, a double-bill performance by My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade). Recently performed as the final act of their survey exhibition at the Whitney, You Were Born Poor and Poor You Will Die (Performa 05 at Participant Inc., 2005) combines ancient Greek theater, mystery plays, and rock opera to tell the story of a religious cult engaging in human sacrifice to maintain the economic status quo. Silver Minds (Aspen Art Museum, 2005) employs conventions of Noh theater, New Wave music, and science fiction, in a series of ghost stories about climate change and resource extraction, told from the point of view of tourists who time travel to the past to enjoy nature, which no longer exists. Re-performing works they created almost two decades ago, My Barbarian responds to the contemporary moment with prescient works that address class struggle and environmental collapse. Performed as a sung and spoken-word recital with musical accompaniment, the members of My Barbarian are joined by musicians Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Ethan Philbrick on cello, and RaShonda Reeves on keyboards.

My Barbarian bring high-theory arcana into bawdy populist forms, marshaling their multicultural demographics to burlesque liberal fantasies of the melting pot, and vamping the world historical only to burn it down and throw a party around its fire.

Artforum, Catherine Quan Damman

Co-presented with Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in conjunction with the My Barbarian exhibition on view October 1, 2022. 

cast & crew

Written, Composed, Directed and Performed by Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, Alexandro Segade

Drums: Tomas Fujiwara

Cello: Ethan Philbrick

Keys: RaShonda Reeves

Masks, Costumes and Video Designed by My Barbarian

Lighting Design by Chu-Hsuan Chang

Production Assistance by C. Bain, Johanna Strobel

about the artists

My Barbarian

Since 2000, Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade have performed as My Barbarian, whose work uses musical/theatrical and critical techniques to playfully act out social difficulties. The trio presented a survey of their work at the Whitney Museum, New York in 2021 which has traveled to ICA Los Angeles in 2022. My Barbarian has presented performance work at MoMA, The Kitchen, New Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem (New York), LACMA, REDCAT, MOCA (Los Angeles), Power Plant, (Toronto), De Appel (Amsterdam), El Matadero (Madrid), Galleria Civica (Trento), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), and many others. My Barbarian has had solo exhibitions at venues including the New Museum, New York; Gallery 400, Chicago; Museo El Eco, Mexico City; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Participant Inc., New York, and is represented by Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles. The group was included in the Whitney Biennial (2014), Baltic Triennial (2009), Montreal Biennial (2007), California Biennial (2008, 2006), and Performa Biennial (2007, 2005). My Barbarian has received grants and awards from United States Artists, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Creative Capital, Art Matters, and the City of Los Angeles. Their work has been discussed in the Artforum, Flash Art, New Yorker,  LA Times, Art in America, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, Bomb and various international newspapers, and by scholars including Shannon Jackson in The Drama Review, Tavia Nyong’o in Social Text, and José Muñoz in his book Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity.