Flat is Beautiful is an experimental live-action cartoon using masks, animation, subtitles, drawings, and dramatic scenes to investigate the psychic life of an androgynous eleven-year-old girl. Growing up in a working class neighborhood with her single mother and gay roommate, Taylor confronts the loneliness of living between masculine and feminine in a culture obsessed with defining gender difference. Shifting between black and white film and grainy pixelvision video, Flat is Beautiful explores the internal and external worlds of sad people.
Silver directs and performs all the roles in this raucous and hilarious music video rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Freebird", the infamous Southern rock anthem for an entire generation of 1970s male youth. In this spoof of straight mass culture, Silver flips ironically between roles; from a lesbian proudly proclaiming her sexuality at the Academy Awards, to an in-concert Coors-drinking Ronnie Van Zant, and, finally, to a black-lace lesbian lounge swinger celebrating the wild, colorful world of “out” visibility.
Shot in the style of a silent film from the 1920s, Frida & Anita is a political fantasy, intersecting the lives of two queer radicals — Frida Kahlo and Anita Berber — who happen to meet one fateful Berlin night in 1924 at the infamous La Garcon Cabaret.
Frida & Anita is the first film in The Surface Tension Trilogy,a three-part short film trilogy looking at queer artists living in Berlin during the 1920s.
This first "Frieda" collaboration between performance artists Barbara Lipp and Tom Koden and video artist Tom Rubnitz chronicles Frieda's rise from assembly-line worker in a box factory to singing superstar. Featuring rock-bottom production values and a sound track which includes the Brady Bunch kids' tune "Gonna Find a Rainbow".
From The Files of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge is a series of video clips taken at the Pyramid Club, a seminal location for the East Village drag scene in the midst of the club's most influential years. While rummaging through a file cabinet full of event fliers from the Pyramid Club, an office worker in drag guides the viewer through video documentation of past performances at the club.
Set to music by Bikini Kill (an all-girl band from Washington), Sadie Benning's Girl Power is a raucous vision of what it means to be a radical girl in the 1990s. Benning relates her personal rebellion against school, family, and female stereotypes as a story of personal freedom, telling how she used to model like Matt Dillon and skip school to have adventures alone. Informed by the underground “riot grrrl” movement, this tape transforms the image politics of female youth, rejecting traditional passivity and polite compliance in favor of radical independence and a self-determined sexual identity.
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Gone is a two-channel installation based on the second episode of An American Family—the landmark PBS verité documentary about the Loud Family of Santa Barbara, California. Dougherty has created a free-form variation on the theme of parental visits to wayward queer children by mapping the dialogue and plot onto a contemporary community of artists and writers in New York today, paying homage to the art underground and the city itself.
With an all-female cast, featuring Suzie Bright as John Lennon, Cecilia Dougherty's Grapefruit plays with the romanticized history of the iconic Fab Four, gently mocking John and Yoko’s banal squabbles and obsessive rituals of self-display. Based obliquely on Yoko Ono’s book, the piece works on many levels to reposition this mythic tale of the Beatles by casting '80s women in mod drag—effectively mapping the lesbian sub-culture onto heterosexual mass culture.
Spiro traveled for one year on the backroads of the southern United States gathering footage for this mobile video project. Accompanied by her dog Sam and a video camera, she travels from Virginia to Texas and back. Her van (which breaks down frequently) serves as office, apartment, editing suite, and runabout.
Handy Man examines the window as a site of voyeurism and surveillance. With his Hi-8 camera, Henricks documents two workers in his interior courtyard. The camerawork has a secretive and furtive feel, treating the male body as an erotic object. This footage forms the basis of a video which attempts to implicate the viewer in processes of exhibitionism and image fetishization. Handy Man is part of a trilogy of works exploring one of the principle metaphors of video: the window.
Three of these four works form a trilogy that explores one of the principle metaphors of video: the window. The window is used to examine notions of knowledge, voyeurism, surveillance and time. In addition, Crush is a reflection on identity, what it means to be human.
Hey Bud revolves around the suicide of Bud Dwyer, a government official who killed himself before a television audience. Zando compares the suicide to a kind of pornographic sex act that plays upon the tension created between exhibitionist and voyeur. It forces viewers to take either an empathetic position vis-a-vis the exhibitionist, or to act as voyeur through release of the repressed desire to see the forbidden face of Death. The piece attempts to understand the power gained through exhibitionism, and how that power is lost through death.