Activism

1989
Jimmie Durham: What Follows...

Cherokee-American artist Jimmie Durham has worked in performance since the mid-’60s. In the ‘70s, he immersed himself in activism, working for Native American rights as part of the American Indian Movement. In the ‘80s, his focus returned to producing art in multiple forms—performance, poetry, and mixed-media visual works—that consider Native American identity and critique American domestic colonialism. He has also published numerous critical essays.

2009
The Earth Is Young

The Earth Is Young takes as its starting point a series of interviews conducted with Young Earth Creationists, who find evidence of a six-day, six-thousand-year old creation in their reading of the fossil and geological record. The film frames these encounters with depictions of the slow and patient work of young paleontologists, and the strange, shimmering life in a drop of pond water, both of which point toward a world far older and more complex, if no less fantastic.

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.

1992
Equal Rights for Unborn Drag Queens, Glenn Belverio

Equal Rights for Unborn Drag Queens is a satirical short video in which Brenda and Glennda critique anti-abortion politics, homophobia, and religious fanaticism in the media. Interspersed between clips of right-wing news broadcasts is footage of Brenda having her nipple pierced, in an homage to Sandy Daley's Robert Having His Nipple Pierced (1971).

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm.

1976
The Eternal Frame

Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual subconscious of the nation. The Eternal Frame concentrates on this event as a crucial site of fascination and repression in the American mindset.

"The intent of this work was to examine and demystify the notion of the presidency, particularly Kennedy, as image archetype...."

— Doug Hall, 1984 

1992
Fagtasia Solstice, Glenn Belverio

In Fagtasia Solstice, Brenda and Glennda attend a Radical Faerie event in New York City to commemorate the Summer Solstice. Through interviews with Faeries and footage of their walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, the group proposes to reclaim the city as a safe space for queer people, and discuss reorienting queer consciousness toward spirituality.

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm. Featuring the Radical Faeries. Thanks to Julie Clark and Dana Nasrallah.

2007
For the Least

For the Least is a short documentary about American Catholics who marched to Guantanomo to bring spiritual comfort to the prisoners and an end to the torture they endure. In December 2005, Catholic Workers--people of faith following the tradition of Dorothy Day--marched over 70 km in the hopes of entering the prison. Ultimately, although they could not actually visit the prisoners, they camped outside the Cuban military limit, fasting and praying for the detainees. The video is in the format of a letter written to the U.S.

2014
Forest Law

Forest Law underlines the persistent fact that we are yet to learn to live otherwise in an age defined by the colossal consequences of a new socio-geological order we ourselves have created through irresponsible interactions with Earth’s systems.

1969
Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago

The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was killed by the Chicago police.

1970
Fred Hampton: Chant and Demonstration

Rare footage of a September 1970 rally honoring the late Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. One of the speakers leads the audience in a call and response.

2018
Coco Fusco 2018: An Interview

Coco Fusco is a Cuban-American artist and author who investigates race, gender, politics, and identity through installations, performances, video work, and writing. In her second On Art and Artists interview, Fusco discusses her recent works with Romi Crawford — an art historian at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — and describes how she has evolved as a storyteller over her career.

2000
Paul Garrin Videoworks: Volume 1

Garrin advocates the use of video as an activist and community tool and a means for people to represent themselves. These three pieces examine the Tompkins Square riots, police harassment, and the use of home video equipment to record a truly democratic local news. 

“Once ‘Big Brother’ was the state watching the people, now the people can begin watching the state.”

—Paul Garrin

1991
Gender Cruise on the Circle Line - Part One, Glenn Belverio

This two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

1991
Gender Cruise on the Circle Line - Part Two, Glenn Belverio

The two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

1993
Glennda and Bruce Do Times Square, Glenn Belverio

In Glennda and Bruce Do Times Square, Glennda is taken on a night tour of Times Square by author Bruce Benderson. They observe the dynamic between forms of culture that would typically be identified as “underclass” in “suburbanite” culture within the economic and spatial landscape of New York City. Glennda and Bruce visit the apartment of performer Consuela Cosmetic, who was prolific within New York’s ball scene. She maps out the ways in which she believes gender can be expressed, and discusses the implications of ‘passing’.