The wave of Juggalo-mania may have ebbed over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean our cultural obsession with Insane Clown Posse, their fans, and what it all means is entirely over. This morning, the Village Voice brings us the news that downtown fixture Neal Medlyn will present a show called Wicked Clown Love next week at the experimental performance venue The Kitchen. Inspired by ICP and their Juggalos, the piece will explore themes of male bonding. And Kathleen Hanna is designing the sets. Yes, that Kathleen Hanna. The one from Le Tigre, and now The Julie Ruin, and originally Bikini Kill. Yup.
This all sounds pretty random, but as the Voice points out, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots: Medlyn is known for his over-the-top, musical homages to pop stars ranging from Phil Collins to Britney Spears, and he’s performed with Kenny Mellman, the ex-Kiki and Herb star who is now a member of The Julie Ruin. He and Hanna have also both appeared in the monthly Joe’s Pub pop-camp-fest Our Hit Parade. Medlyn, meanwhile, attended the Gathering of the Juggalos last summer and wrote a fantastic piece about it for Salon. Unlike many pieces that have found cultured, city-dwelling types immersing themselves in ICP, which can be roughly summarized as “look at these fucking Juggalos,” he ended up identifying with the marginalized subculture — suggesting that Medlyn’s theatrical take on the phenomenon will be somewhat sympathetic. We can’t help but wonder whether Hanna’s visual interpretation of the hyper-masculine movement will be equally nuanced.