After Saturday’s L.A. Art Book Fair, Bradford Nordeen of queer performance and art collective Dirty Looks NYC was at François Ghebaly Gallery to screen three short films examining “contemporary queer relationships with gay icons ranging from Marilyn Monroe, Valerie Solanas, James Baldwin, Pedro Zamora and José Esteban Muñoz.” They included Aykan Safoğlu’s Off-white Tulips, Pauline Boudry + Renate Lorenz’s To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation, and My Barbarian’s Counterpublicity.
More about the films from the event page:
Off-White Tulips (Kirik Beyaz Laleler) is a tribute to writer James Baldwin, a video essay comprised of still photographs that illustrate or confound a narration that blends Baldwin’s self-imposed exile to Turkey with the artist’s own biographical details and an exploration of his native country.
To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation takes as a starting point the score of the same title composed by the avant-garde composer Pauline Oliveros in 1970. Documenting a performance of the work by Rachel Aggs, Peaches, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Catriona Shaw, Verity Susman, and William Wheeler, the composition, which was influenced by Valerie Solanas’s radical feminist “SCUM Manifesto,” affords the musicians an equal role, rejecting the hierarchical structures of traditional music..
My Barbarian’s Counterpublicity is a staged video performance based on an essay about Pedro Zamora, AIDS activist and star of the Real World: San Francisco, written by José Esteban Muñoz in his book, Disidentifications. The three members of My Barbarian re-perform scenes from The Real World in an alienated style, resisting the affect of “reality tv” even as they interrogate its politics, contrasting these scenes with the embodied performance of 90s-inspired music videos, with lyrics adapted from Muñoz’s theory of Queer counterpublic spheres that operate against the dominance of racism and homophobia.