Tonight is Transatlantic: a screening of three films which analyse matters within an “increasingly public gay community” in ’90s downtown New York.
For us nineties kids, it can be hard to imagine a world where whole sections of the population were so heavily discriminated against. We were born at the tail end of the 1980’s AIDS epidemic (there was no effective treatment at the time) which shook a hyper-paranoid public and lent another leg to homophobic culture. The USA Court of Appeal stated that there was ‘no fundamental right to be gay’, and let’s not even mention those casual slurs in popular Hollywood films such as The Breakfast Club, which were supposed to be funny gags. We still have a long way to go before we reach complete solidarity in every crevice of the world, but needless to say, we’ve crossed milestones since the 1980’s.
Tonight, DRAF Studios in Camden will be hosting ‘Transatlantic’, a screening of three films which analyse matters within an “increasingly public gay community” in downtown New York during the early 1990’s. The curators of Transatlantic hope to engage us in critical thought with their choice of (quite frankly mind-blowingly incredible) films. In The Shadow of Forward Motion (ITSOFOMO) by artist David Wojnarowicz, showing first, is a cryptic and highly personal account of the psychological effects of AIDS and how American society at the time dealt with it. The short film addresses these highly potent notions in a visually arresting montage of symbolic found footage and video work of bare-chested male clubbers, to an eerie soundtrack. It’s a must see.
The second showing sees journalist and performance-artist Glenn Belverio don his drag persona Glenda Orgasm (great name or what?) and wreak havoc around lower Manhattan with feminist academic Camille Paglia. In sharp, twisted wit the pair demolish stereotypes which were starting to settle within the scene and quite frankly we wish we had more super-fun and fully important films like this being made today. Next off is Charles Lofton’s I Like Dreaming, which sucks you into a dream-like monologue, contemplating aspects of ‘cruising’ amongst young men. Stellar line up we’re sure you will agree.
If you’re up for stimulating your mind and creative tendencies, this is certainly not a night to be missed. The evening is hosted by LUX Moving Image – an international arts agency for the support of artists’ moving image practice – in collaboration with the Cranford Collection. The night will be closed with a DJ set by Jones and London based artist John Walker will be exploring some of the themes of the evening in relation to his research project, Alien Sex Club, which is currently part of the Homotopia festival in Liverpool.
Go here for further information about the event.
The ‘Transatlantic’ screening will show on Thursday 12 November 2015, 8:30pm, David Roberts Arts Foundation, Symes Mews, London NW1 7JE.
WORDS: Lizzy Nicholson