In this interview Cecilia Dougherty describes her work and her explorations into family interactions, outsider psychology, role-playing, lesbian sexuality, and popular culture. Her videos Grapefruit (1989) and Coal Miner’s Granddaughter (1991) work from within mass culture norms to create a lesbian dialogue within the “normal”—what Dougherty calls “the life of the ordinary lesbian and her working-class family.” Her more recent vides explore lesbian identity within a separate social sphere.
"This movie was collected for four years before being sprayed scattershot over 28 minutes of psychic mayhem. The line between living and dead is a frontier crossed and re-crossed here. The living are dead while the dead are animated, breathing, swimming, giving birth. Consumed by the animal life of the city, the artist undertakes a first person journey, producing diary notes from one of the most skilled lens masters of the new generation. The camera is her company in this duet of death, the instrument that permits her to see the impossible, the unbearable, the invisible."
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.
This high octane drama that I made with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute chronicles the moral decline of it's heroine, as the love of a man she obsesses over drives her over something else: a cliff into hell. It's a free fall all the way to the bottom destination, and there's a heck of a lot of nice looking, young people along for the ride.
"Like any other great city, this one offered its populace more than merely every evening freedom. It offered a variety of slaveries to which the freedom might be put. This was necessary, Goliath knew, because he who has given away his soul between nine and five cannot usually bear to face it (or does not know where to find it) between five and nine. The city offered distractions, glorious dreams.
Every Wandering Cloud is the first installment in a series of experimental videos inspired by the writings of Oscar Wilde. Interweaving text from Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" with hand-drawn animation derived from Eadweard Muybridge's Human and Animal Location, Every Wandering Cloud is a meditation on themes of freedom and imprisonment. The video juxtaposes an eclectic array of archival and contemporary imagery, including documentary footage and original Super-8 and digital video.
An homage to the death of the soap opera, The Evil Eyes is a 1960's era story of a grandmother faced with her mortality, a mother in mid-life crisis, and a son realizing his sexuality - a dysfunctional family whose unspoken angst manifests in the latest episode of their beloved supernatural soap opera, Before Dawn.
" order to take the next step (not forward or backwards, but only: to go on) it is often necessary (for me) to lean on a picture made by someone else; sometimes a word will do, a gesture, the look on a stranger's face. Colin Campbell made the next step possible for me, so I took up a video camera (his pictures were my company, and my camera accompanied his pictures). Between his images of the past and mine, Colin Campbell emerged as a Cold Warrior, as an artist who would fight the Cold War with stereo.
In the spring of 1988, video-maker/activist Gregg Bordowitz tested HIV-antibody positive. He then quit drinking and taking drugs and came out to his parents as a gay man. This imaginative autobiographical documentary began as an inquiry into these events and the cultural climate surrounding them. While writing the film, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and his grandparents were killed in a car accident. The cumulative impact of these events challenged his sense of identity, the way he understood his own diagnosis, and the relationships between Illness and history.
Fighting Chance is a continuation of Richard Fung’s previous documentary Orientations, which told of the personal challenges and struggles of Asian-Canadian gays and lesbians to express their sexual identities. When Fung produced Orientations in 1984, AIDS had not yet fully manifested itself (particularly among Asians), but by 1991, as we see in Fighting Chance, the epidemic has become threateningly widespread. Individuals and couples candidly discuss the various hurdles and challenges that AIDS has presented.
Cheang has taken her camera to the streets for a candid glimpse of lesbian public sexuality. If Asian women and lesbians share a certain amount of invisibility in the culture, Fingers and Kisses offers not only a bold representation of both, but a challenge to the question “What do lesbians do?” Tokyo’s own out-and-loud music by Chu punctuates the narrative as what begins in the streets continues under the sheets.
Script and performance by Izumo Marou and Claire Maree.