Lauren John Joseph (formerly know as La JohnJoseph) is an artist and writer, working across the page, the stage and the screen.
As a writer, LJJ has authored a series of solo plays, a volume of prose fiction, and a libretto, they have contributed to newspapers, magazines, and journals internationally for the past decade.
Lauren’s performance work includes theatre, film, opera and pop music. They have presented this performance work across the UK including the Royal Opera House, The Bristol Old Vic, HOME, and the Southbank Centre, as well as internationally, at MoMA (SF), Deutsche Oper and Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), Fancy Him (Tokyo), La Java (Paris) and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói (Rio). For seven years they performed as their “identical twin brother”, Alexander Geist, generating a parallel body of work through this autonomous persona.Visit Alexander Geist
As an artist, Lauren makes moving image works, which investigate the convergence of social class, gender identity, and religious faith in the matrices of social power, often in collaboration with non-professionals. They also create contemporary relics; art objects which explore materiality as a conduit for the immaterial, usurping the natural with campy combinations of text and image and installation. LJJ has contributed to group shows in Berlin, Mexico City, London and Manchester, and has been awarded grants from Arts Council England, the Jerwood, the British Council, and the Wellcome Trust.
Images by Amnon Friedman
Supported by Arts Council England
“Renaissance man/woman/whatever-who-cares JohnJoseph combines sexual liberty, violence and religious devotion into a soup blender of pop culture and history” - DAZED
La JJ writes on contemporary culture, art, pornography, gender theory and the Golden Age of Hollywood. Their work has appeared, in print and online, in iD, The Independent, Sleek, The Guardian, Time Out, Attitude, Amuse, Huffington Post, Siegessaule, Parterre de Rois, Out There, and in the ‘zines Birdsong, Fat Zine, 21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves, and Not Here: An Anthology of Queer Loneliness.
They are the author of the solo plays, “Boy in a Dress” and “A Generous Lover”, and the prose fiction volume, “Everything Must Go”.
“Both campy and moving, this story of love and insanity mixes humor with pathos.” - The New York Times
“Elegant, incisive and intoxicating ...powerfully mobilises the distinctive forms and sensibilities that make them such a rich, compelling artist” - The Scotsman
“Horrifying and funny and defiantly beautiful” - Frieze”
Two of La JJ’s plays "A Generous Lover" and "Boy in a Dress” are published in a double volume from Oberon Books.
“Brutal and beautiful...fast-paced, witty, and irreverent.” - LAMBDA
“illuminated by a talent one encounters only once or twice in a lifetime.... worthy of an R. Firbank or Dame E. Sitwell.” Bruce Benderson
“A strange and exquisite pleasure, a garden of earthly delights. Wildly funny, dirty, sexy, brutal, absurd, but always engaging and heartbreakingly human." – Jake Arnott
La JJ’s first foray into long-form prose, "Everything Must Go”, is a A viciously absurd road trip across a psychedelic post-apocalyptic landscape. Likened to Kathy Acker and Ronald Firbanks, it was nominated for the LAMBDA Literary award for best Trans Fiction, as well as the Polari First Book Prize.
Written to accompany the eponymous performance piece, this is a short story detailing a day in the life of the mysterious Mr Geist, the show’s protagonist. Published by And What? Festival, the text is accompanied throughout by photographs from Sven Gutjahr.