Sexuality

1997
Crush

Crush is the story of a man who wants to turn into an animal as told by the man himself, and one or two observers. He employs a variety of techniques to transform himself into a beast, including cutting off parts of his body, exercising, swimming; he wants to return to the water, to speed up evolution a little. Has he gone mad, or is he just tired of being human? As the narrator descends into private obsessions, we begin to perceive the distorted outlines of reason which guide his descent.

1997
Cuerpos de Papel (Paper Bodies)

Cuerpos de Papel is a dense visual meditation on sexuality, loss, jealousy and intimacy. It uses rich sensual images to weave a digital portrait of an intimate, erotic, and emotional past. As the images transform, we are left with a slippery sense of intangibility and delicacy.

This title is also available on Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

1999
Ximena Cuevas: Dormimundo Vol. 1

"If there's something big, big that you want to reach for, you begin by dreaming." —Ivonne and Ivette

"The discomfort in Sleepworld Volume 1 is that of being oneself. The videos included here look at who we are and what we imagine we are. They are experiments in appearances, about the use of artifice to improve life or hide it. It is a reflection on moral displacement, hypocrisy, self-contained dreams, self-loathing, self-destruction in order to repeatedly kill our dreams.

2002
Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World)

Cuevas is obsessed with the micro movements of daily life, with the border between truth and fiction, with the "impossibility" of reality. Her work relentlessly seeks out the layers of lies covering the everyday representations of reality and systematically explores the fictions of national identity and gender.

1990
The Deadman

"Charting the adventures of a near-naked heroine who sets in motion a scabrous free-form orgy before returning to the house to die--this film combines elegance, raunchy defilement and barbaric splendor."

--Jonathan Rosenbaum, "Dubbed and Dubber," Chicago Reader (21 February 1997)

With Jennifer Montgomery, Ramon Quanta la Gusta, Scott Shat, Diane Torr, and Leslie Singer.

This title is only available on Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh.

1985
Doublecross

Blumenthal constructs a loose narrative around the sexual evolution of a woman (played by Yvonne Rainer) through a stunning collage of images appropriated from TV and film. Certain images come to dominate this effusive stream—tall buildings, sex scenes, an Elvis movie, the courtroom, fireworks. Doublecross pits the indeterminate, disruptive power of the erotic against the rigid, normalizing structures of family, law, marriage, popular culture, movies, and music—societal institutions that codify sexual relations.

2003
Cecilia Dougherty: An Interview

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.

2003
Draft 9

"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."

2008
A Dream of Roses

A House Wife's hum-drum world dissolves away into a thorny Passion Play of miraculous visions.

2017
Eat Your Secrets

The fourth collaboration between Jessie Mott and Steve Reinke continues its melancholic musings on desire and mourning, this time with more twerking. Hypnotic backgrounds and eccentric animals lend to its psychedelic children's cartoon vibe, and the signature Madonna and Stockhausen soundtrack enhances the desperation for paradise among those extra long tongues and snake-y bodies.

1985
Laura Kipnis, Ecstasy Unlimited

Ecstasy Unlimited is an engaging video essay on the social construction of sexuality. Kipnis attempts to historicize pleasure and politicize desire, to reveal within the current discourse on sex — and within an ensemble of current sexual practices — the production of forms of sexuality that work to guarantee social order, rather than subvert it. Through various narrative ploys and theoretical tactics, the tape attempts to recover traces of a "political unconscious" in contemporary social malaise.

2011
Empire of Evil

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.

2012
Encounters I May or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin

Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin deals primarily with monumentality, narcissism and the ways in which our heroes are embedded into our identities, and manifested through the body. Through a variety of gestures, the pervasiveness of this practice is highlighted alongside its ultimate, inevitable failure. The viewer moves through various stages of anxiety, idolization and actual touchdown with 70s gay sex icon Peter Berlin himself, capturing both the apparent and the hidden.

2009
Ephemeral Seizure

Playwright and performance artist Marc Arthur paves a color-saturated path from 'awake consciousness' to sleeping 'dreamscape'.