PuSh Blog

The Challenge of Christeene – A Curatorial Statement by Norman Armour

November 24, 2014

Shameless. Filthy. Scary. Mythic. These are just some of the terms that surface when Christeene is brought up. Christeene’s shows, like The Christeene Machine, are the stuff of rock legend meets wasted gutter flashbacks. If you want a soundtrack to go with your buttons being pushed, then this is the show for you. Norman Armour, PuSh Festival’s Artistic & Executive Director, explains the curatorial challenges in presenting Christeene.

The Christeene Machine, Christeene, 2015 PuSh Festival
Photo: Austin Young

Okay. I am torn about this one. I so much want to tell (hell, shout) that you should make it out for The Christeene Machine. But my second thoughts are, “Wow, it’s not for everyone; really, really, really not for everyone.” And I don’t ever want someone at a show that they don’t deep down want to be at.

Warning: Stay away, fainthearted. This work lives down by the river, on the other side of the tracks, deep, deep into the forest. It’s a dark, brooding sermon from the mount, the mount under a rock or in the lichen crevices. It’s the dream you had the other night; the one you woke from drenched in a cold sweat, heart beating and unable to find sleep again.

And yet deep, deep down The Christeene Machine is what’s commonly referred to as celebratory. Christeene preaches, love, acceptance, forgiveness and tolerance—to the brethren, both converted and soon to be. It’s all quite tribal when Christeene gets right down to it—in the way that a night out dancing, searching, cruising, furtive fornicating, feeding desires and seeking redemption is.

The Christeene Machine sings to the dark alleys of our oh-too-human soul, to the recesses of our imagination and trodden transcendence. If Taylor Mac is revolutionary, so is Christeene, but in a Jean Genetian way. They share a lot and yet have little in common. Parallel tracks. If Taylor is art nouveau; Christeene is pure gothic.

So to all you who are gothic (even if only in your dreams), I insist you attend. In this throbbing church of the most unholy, all are welcome.

Norman Armour
Artistic & Executive Director


The Christeene Machine opens Club PuSh at Performance Works January 22–23. Experience the The Christeene Machinetickets to The Christeene Machine are available to book on the PuSh Pass, Youth Passport (19+), or as single tickets.

Christeene, 2015 PuSh Festival
Photo: OtisIke