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"Renwick recounts a sad time in her life, when a friend was dying and she suddenly became aware of the presence of crows... [Renwick] craft[s] a lyrical and moving essay that works its magic through poetic accretion rather than narrative logic."
— Holly Willis, L.A. Weekly
A "painter" casts out the demons that haunt his canvases and who creep into his bed at night.
Trans filmmaker Jules Rosskam's against a trans narrative is a provocative and personal experimental documentary investigating dominant constructions of trans-masculine identity, gender, and the nature of community.
By sensitively framing the film through his own personal journey within the trans-masculine community, Rosskam creates an electric and original investigation into gender politics and social self-identity.
The “a-ha experience” is the moment when a child first recognizes its own image in a mirror; it is critical to the development of intelligence and identity. It is also the moment when the “self” is surrendered to the control of an external influence. The child accepts the power of the mother to confer or withhold love; it is the mother’s power to fulfill desire that shapes a child’s sense of identity. Similarly, a camera controls love by directing or not directing its attention to the desiring subject.
His face is strong and seems unaffected by the trials in his life — however it is nothing but a mask — skin is what he hides behind.
"I'm not going to go to the Anne Frank House—I don't think I could take it—being a tourist is bad enough—though I'm not really a tourist—I'm here working—my camera's the one on vacation—taking holiday sounds and images—it's having a nice change of pace—for me it's still the same old thing—talking and talking.
In the video An Evening with Kembra, Glennda and Brenda attend one of Kembra Pfahler's dinner shows on New York City's Lower East Side. At her show, she performs cabaret versions of songs from her band The Volumptuous Horror of Karen Black. After the show, the group discusses the relationship of her work to queer culture. Interspersed throughout the video are two short clips: a skit entitled Drag Queen Starter Kit, and a call to boycott a bakery due to its discriminatory behavior.
"Ever on the lookout for learning opportunities, Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together. All the information’s there—you just don’t have to bother reading it!"
—New York Video Festival (2002)
Masked men prowling in the bushes and not touching anything but satin, dandelions and flesh.
As the AIDS epidemic took hold in the early 1980s, self-help guru Louise Hay created a space for healing called the Hayride. Drawing hundreds of gay men confronting a deadly and stigmatized disease, Louise promised that they could overcome AIDS through self-love. Some said this early new age wellness movement was unscientific and harmful. Others who were suffering said that Louise healed them. In the face of a deadly pandemic and government neglect, resilience takes unusual forms, and for Louise Hay’s circle, intimate forms of reckoning were transformative.
Ascensor is an exploration of grief, longing and mysticism through a queer lens. It documents a syncretic ritual that culls from the magical reverberations in Mexican culture to process the unexpected loss of a dear friend. The repetition of the ritual eventually leads to the transcendence of physical space, transforming unrelenting ache into shining resilience.
...Alone, lost and in search of Gods, he waits for dawn to light the path toward enlightenment.
In Bad Grrrls, Glennda and Fonda LaBruce attend a Riot Grrrl conference on New York’s Lower East Side. At the conference, they conduct interviews with punk women, performers and artists, including Penny Arcade and Sadie Benning. In doing so, Glennda and Fonda navigate a range of perspectives on feminism, punk, and underground activism. Furthermore, they engage with questions of drag’s relationship with feminism, and how one would reconcile the problems of punk with Riot Grrrl’s desire for women’s liberation.
In the late 1970s, Walter Naegle was walking to Times Square to buy a newspaper when he ran into a striking older African American man on the corner. Walter says that “lightning struck” and his life changed forever at that moment. The man on the corner was Bayard Rustin.
Largely focused on the critical use of language both archaic and contemporary, poet Caroline Bergvall’s work asks questions about cultural identity and feminism and explores challenging or unknown historical and political events. She works across multiple media practices including audio texts, plurilingual poetry, installation and Performance Writing.
Black Body is a harsh and compelling meditation on the contradictory values assigned to black bodies in American culture: they exist as both desired and feared, abject and powerful. The “black body” is a body whose surface reflects projected fears and repressed desires; as such, it exists as a site of ideological struggle, a surface which is simultaneously eroticized and denegrated.
Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and filmmaker whose practice spans technical investigation, research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. Currently a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, Blas has exhibited internationally, including at the Walker Art Center, Gwangju Biennale, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitechapel Gallery.
A hot wind licks his face. His blood burns hot; it can bake bread, heat a house, warm a bed.
Through a stack of personal journals, this video reconstructs a biography of the South Dakota-born, New York City-enlightened artist James Wentzy. Tracing his days starting out as a struggling artist and later involved as an AIDS activist, the video provides an intimate portrait of a neglected hero. Wentzy reads from journals and shares old family snapshots and notebook sketches. “I hope I don’t die of sainthood,” Wentzy jokes in an entry from 1990—the pivotal time when he was becoming involved with ACT-UP and beginning to live healthier after the revelation of his HIV-positive status.
A beautifully ambiguous study of the nude in light and movement, this short silent film focuses on the dimly lit bodies of two women shot from Child’s distinctly non-male perspective.
A naughty romp that is bare, brazen, and "black and blue" too, featuring a playpen of playthings that go on an erotic rampage."
Produced for Britain’s Channel 4, Bright Eyes is an impressive and complex essay detailing the various factors that have colluded to misrepresent the true nature of the threat posed by AIDS. Exposing the relationship between the mass media, scientific systems of classification, and definitions of pathology, Marshall pinpoints the construction of sexual politics based on a reactionary morality. The video places the AIDS crisis in the context of the historical persecution of homosexuals and focuses on the efforts of gay activist groups to combat social and medical prejudice.