Sexuality

1991
A Place Called Lovely

“Nicky is seven. His parents are older and meaner.” A Place Called Lovely references the types of violence individuals find in life, from actual beatings, accidents and murders, to the more insidious violence of lies, social expectations, and betrayed faith. Benning collects images of this socially-pervasive violence from a variety of sources, tracing events from childhood: movies, tabloids, children's games (like mumbledy-peg), personal experiences, and those of others.

1974
The Politics of Intimacy

The setting for The Politics of Intimacy recalls the widespread consciousness-raising (CR) groups in the late '60s and early '70s inspired by the emerging feminist movement. CR groups provided a forum to openly and collectively validate women's otherwise private experiences. In the tape Dr. Sherfy, one of the first doctors to write about female sexuality, and nine women of different ages, sexual preferences, and economic and social situations discuss their sexual experiences.

2008
Ponytail

This feature-length video follows several inflicted characters and recounts the ways in which they find resolve. A series of entropic scenarios held together by an attraction to failure and its spectacle describe the characters' malfunction - their inability to fulfill personal desire. Compelled by the consequences and rewards of their attempts they question their own trajectory. Using elements of melodrama, performative monologue and traditional narrative structure Ponytail presents a unique society of characters that destroy the distinction between memory and invention.

2003
Poster Girl

As if trapped inside a nightmare, the main protagonist of Poster Girl is haunted by disturbing visions, thoughts and fantasies, which the viewer is privy to. She is joined at various points in the video by another woman, whose role in the narrative remains unclear – is she meant to function as a guardian or a demon? The video further complicates the matter by representing both women as simultaneously wounded and wounding, inviting and threatening, vulnerable and menacing.

1980
Primal Scenes

Over grainy, black and white images of a woman giving birth, Montano reads the story of a nun’s sexual self-discovery—recounting Sister Joan’s growing awareness of her body’s sensuousness and sexuality. Primal Scenes is an excellent example of women’s erotica, focusing on a woman’s experience of her body as both sexually powerful and deeply mysterious.

2017

VDB TV: Decades
1980s: Problematizing Pleasure / Punk Theory

An original program for VDB TV: Decades curated by Steve Reinke.

1997
Purgatory Junction

A vain, self centered mother competes with her daughter in the world of carnivorous men and sleazy movies.

2006
Queen Conga

This black and white drama of romance, adventure and outer space intervention was mounted at the San Francisco Art Institute. The plot concerns two groups of missionaries who depart for a tropical island inhabited by a population of attractive denizens who are ruled by a libido-fueled queen. She in turn is guided by the Star People who have their own carnal urges and the result is volcanic. The $400 budget guarantees cheap thrills and makes an explosive vehicle for the queen of these dime store dynamos: Linda Martinez (our Sharon Stone).

2010
House Hold, Guy Ben-Ner

This first program deals with stories of captivity. To start, Hostage: The Bachar tapes by Walid Raad presents us with an imagined hostage presumably held in custody along with the American hostages in Lebanon during the 1980’s. Raad’s work reflects on the invention and communication of stories about abduction, insisting on the families’ unity in the face of threats, and reads through the fears and sexual fantasies of the kidnapped Americans who are held in the same cell with a Lebanese man.

2016
Reckoning 4

RECKONING 4 is the second in a series of investigations into (among other things)

2003
Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002

Four videos from artist Sterling Ruby that deal with quiet moments, capturing an atmospheric intimacy, both voyeuristic and perverse.

1999

Video artist meets a handsome and enigmatic Marlboro Man; video artist gets a sexually transmitted disease. In a wry and pointed work that’s part Ibsen and part Danielle Steele, Vanalyne Green reworks the sex-education film to take a critical look at cherished stereotypes about romance, the American West, and cowboys. Expanding on a body of work that investigates the idea that public spaces are gendered, Green revisits the myth of the rugged outdoors, and the West will never be the same.

2007
Scarlet Petals

Obsessive desire can leave an indelible stain on its victim.

2016

In Steve Reinke’s latest provocation, the words of author Hervé Guibert are made flesh through a montage of “human events” that work to collapse the boundaries between the private and public, the perverse and the prosaic.

1994
Sex Bowl

All forms of human sport become sites for sexual play and celebratory eroticism.

“The tape’s images are quick, suggestive, and sexy: fingers moving into bowling balls, shoe-smelling and toe-sucking, a dog wearing chain jewelry, fish being wrapped at the market, young naked couples having sex.... Edited like a music video, the image track is a constant flow of fetishes that lure us into the promiscuous pace of girls who keep lists of their sexual encounters.”