Alone in my room at the El Reno Inn, way out west from Oklahoma City, I face a big picture window that overlooks the refuse of Route 66 to ponder the fate of trailer trash in Twisterville. The skies darken and rumble to the sounds of Mother Nature in heat while Big Brother TV suffers an anxiety attack. Lightning flares up while rain pounds down on the terminal tourists of a raging planet. Only the ice-cold veneer of a sculpted ceramic gives comfort to the terrorized tenant who sweats in sequestered silence while the sky falls down.
In this interview, American artist, independent curator, writer, and experimental filmmaker, Vaginal Davis reflects on her initiation into the punk rock and art scenes of Los Angeles during the 1980s and 90s, her stylistic influences, and her ongoing efforts to theorize queerness and visuality. Caught between the opposing poles of Hollywood classicism and the rawness of punk, Davis defines her unapologetically gender-bending, campy, and at times aggressively critical performances as scenarios, rather than spectacles or entertainment.
Deaf Dogs Can Hear is an autobiographical work that traces the tragic yet humourous episodes of the artist as a young girl, and her pet chihuahua. Her love for this deformed and unattractive pet only grows deeper as one tragedy after another befalls the dog and the creature becomes repulsive to all eyes but its owner's.
A prop-filled encounter with a young fantasy filmmaker eventually becomes muffled by an earwax problem I develop; but not before the viewer is dragged through Studio 8 where my class and I are concocting a sordid, high school melodrama.
This time, the call of the west sends me packing to Oregon, California and Arizona. You too can experience the dizzy delights of a whirlwind tour and witness wonders seen through the savage eye of a Sony camcorder. Actually, the adventure is rather mellow in mood and should spare the viewer a need for the ever looming and inevitable barf bag. See Phoenix in all its rocky royalty! Relish in the student clogged ivy halls of Portland! Immerse yourself in a technicolor rendering of Irvine, California.
Defiantly humorous in its tone, Delirium reflects Faber’s mother’s personal experience with what has been classified as “female hysteria.” While never reducing her mother’s condition to a single explanation, Delirium firmly and convincingly links her illness to the historically embattled position women hold in a patriarchal culture. The video layers haunting imagery and humorous iconoclasm, referencing everything from television episodes of I Love Lucy to Charcot’s 19th Century photos of female hysterics.
A big colorful rendering of the monster now terrorizing Puerto Rico and the hot-blooded people who have to deal with its deeper mysteries. Made with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute, the video takes the viewer to our never-never land of constructed fantasy, loaded with visiting personnel who dropped by the class and got sucked into the venture. Lots of torrid, tropical mayhem and monsters.
A high-pitched melodrama featuring the noise saturated spiritual journey of a vegetarian youth embroiled in big city shenanigans and occult extravaganzas. Along the way we meet a crippled and lovely conservationist, fiery latin lovers, a Loch Ness monster and a wide assortment of characters from the gutter and the galaxy. There is a seance and a seduction at Castle Kebrina along with a glimpse of Armageddon and a repetitive message from the future that booms new age nuances into the snap, crackle and pop stew.
The genius and mystique of Edward D. Wood, filmmaker, actor, and author, permeates this excursion into the exposed underbelly of cookie-contaminated corruption and moral bankruptcy. Come along for the ride and experience the black and white world of bagged confectionary and bruised libidos as the 1940s meets the 1990s in a head-on collision of balding Bozos and blubbery bimbos. Fasten your girdles and seatbelts for the gut-expanding excursion to excitement.
This compilation contains many of Teddy Dibble’s best comic vignettes. Everything is up for grabs in these visual and linguistic puns, including video dating, telephone operators, New Years Eve celebrations, fruit, and the theory of evolution.
Moving from one hotel in Bethlehem to another in East Jerusalem, the filmmaker encounters a series of problems involving a ceiling, a video camera and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Dirty Pictures is the seventh episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.
Sort of a portrait of the videomaker Anne McQuire, who surfaces midway from this waterlogged landscape of El Nino disasters to dispense charm and chocolate within the confines of her concrete office. There is also a flood of imagery that flows in and out of art museums, viewing facilities, and eateries that are perpetually haunted by yours truly along with the spirit of hoboism that feeds on apple pie America.
Like all of Smith’s videotapes, Down in the Rec Room is based on a performance that finds Mike once again all dressed up with nowhere to go. Smith mimes along with a children’s “let’s play make believe” record, and then repeats the action—this time disco dancing along with Donny and Marie on the TV set. Down in the Rec Room continues Smith’s critique of American fantasy culture by depicting the sorry life of the average guy.
A dragumentary about a day in the life of a score of drag queens on the lookout for photo opportunities at Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Tiffany’s, and in SoHo. A tripped-out Hapi Phace shares her haiku, and The “Lady” Bunny pouts about the concept of unisex clothes. Also featuring Sister Dimension and Dagmar Onassis.