An exhibition of video portraits by Rachel Rampleman featuring alt-drag and burlesque stars.
February 13 – April 18 at the cell

More info HERE.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) presents its first residency of 2021, Life is Drag, an exhibition showcasing the video portraits of Rachel Rampleman. Exploring subjects such as gender, artifice and spectacle, Rampleman documents the most innovative and singular performers of the exploding alt-drag and burlesque scenes nationally, a portion of which have been filmed throughout the pandemic at the cell’s space on West 23rd Street. Opening February 13th on the Gallery Floor, this exhibit is free and open to the public. Masks are required and capacity will be limited. Patrons are required to follow all city mandated COVID-19 precautions including mandatory mask wearing, limited ca-pacity, filling out a contact-free survey for symptoms and potential exposure, and a digital temperature check upon entry.

Rachel Rampleman utilizes processes ranging from directorial to curatorial to anthropological to showcase exuberantly irrepressible personalities who revel in challenging clichés associated with masculinity and femininity. A sampling of subjects featured in Life is Drag include Girls Girls Girls (the world's first and only all-female Mötley Crüe tribute band), Tazzie Colomb (the world's longest competing female bodybuilder), and LACTIC Incorporated (an avant-garde clothing brand that takes the detritus of corporate life and reinterprets it into one-of-a-kind structural garments that challenge the polarization of gender) as well as drag and burlesque stars Untitled Queen, Fem Appeal, Darlinda Just Darlinda, C'etait BonTemps, Chartruice, Mimi Silk, Dick TransDyke, JAX, Robyn Edges, Sham Payne, Just JP, Stixen Stones, Kiara Chimera, Barbie Crash, Bunny Wonderland, Robin from Human Resources, Geo Soctomah Neptune, Jayden Jamison, Mike Hawk, Arabella LaDessé, Bender Bluefish, and Zayn-X.

Life is Drag already includes more than 4 hours of video featuring over 60 artists from all around the globe. Ram-pleman plans to create nearly 40 more video portraits during her residency and incorporate many of those into the exhibition.

“My long-term goal is to continue to do a series of such residencies nationally and internationally, which will allow me to create portraits of drag artists from a wide variety of areas, backgrounds, cultures, ages, etc. Each portrait includes video of the drag artist performing (lip-synching, singing, telling stories, dancing, etc.) in addition to interview documentation, and will become part of an online archive as well be presented at a wide variety of art and non-art venues.”

Life is Drag opens Saturday, February 13 at 6PM at the cell (338 W. 23rd Street) and runs Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM-6PM through April 18, 2021. Masks are required and capacity will be limited. Follow the cell on instagram at @thecelltheatre for updates or go to for upcoming events.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently living and working in New York City, Rachel Rampleman received her MFA from New York University in 2006. Since then, her work has been shown internationally at Shanghai Biennale, Chennai Photo Biennale (India), JAM (Bangkok), Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Belgium), Art Cinema OFFoff (Belgium), Monte Arts Centre (Belgium), Terasa (Czech Republic), C/O Berlin, Die Fruhperle (Berlin), The Secret Cabinet (Berlin), and VIDEONALE.16 at the Kunstmuseum (Bonn). Nationally, her work has been exhibited at such venues as Socrates Sculpture Park, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Satellite Art Show, The Frank Institute at CR10, Spectacle Theater, Flux Factory, VOX Bizarre, Cynthia Broan Gallery, NP Contemporary Art Center, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Warehouse Gallery, SELECT Art Fair, The Last Brucennial, un(SCENE) Art Show, 80 WSE Gallery, Gowanus Swim Society, El Puente CADRE, Art Gotham, Rosenburg Gallery, Cantor Film Center, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Collar Works, Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University, Other Cinema at Artists' Television Access (California), Wexner Center for the Arts, The Contemporary Arts Center, SS NOVA (Ohio), KMAC Museum Louisville, The Lexington Art League, The Fountain Gallery at Purdue University, 1506 Projects (Washington), University Hall Gallery at UMass Boston, Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia), PULSE Miami, The Flint Art Institute, The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and The Andy Warhol Museum. Rampleman recently had a survey exhibition on view at the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts (Cincinnati) as well as solo exhibitions at VOLTA NY (New York), These Things Take Time (Ghent, Belgium), 42 Social Club (Connecticut), Carl Solway Gallery, The Neon Heater Art Gallery (Ohio), and an early career retrospective at The Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA Gallery) in Buffalo. She is currently preparing for her upcoming solo exhibitions at 3S Artspace (Portsmouth), and Auxiliary Projects (Brooklyn). Rachel’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Art F City, Paper Magazine, Artnet, DRAIN, Domino, eyes toward the dove, HYPERALLERGIC, Gothamist, Berlin Art Parasites, the Fanzine, Seattle Pi, Absolute Arts, ÆQAI, and LeCool Bangkok, among others.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the cell has successfully moved into the digital sphere by streaming virtual concerts and programming such as Dark Matter Immersive’s Garden of Eden (New York Times’ Top Ten Things to Do This Week), Tolerance Party (Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream this Week), the Room | to | Breathe series with Bright Shiny Things, Nourishment "Bites" with Holdtight Dance Company, Apex Sky, Harps Uncovered and Liquidverse a psy-chedelic & meditative show exploring the images of the cosmos through oil based dyes by Liquid Light Lab and mu-sic by composer and technical director of the cell Ricardo Romaneiro. Past productions include Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Pink Unicorn (starring Alice Ripley co-produced with Out of the Box), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (Drama-Desk Nominated), Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical, The McGowan Trilogy, Hey Jude, Horse Girls and more. @thecelltheatre