LGBTQ

1986
Chinese Characters

Quoting Confucius, that “food and sex are human nature,” Chinese Characters builds a parallel between the Chinese legend about the search for the source of the Yellow River and contemporary Asian-Canadian gay men’s search for pleasure via their relationship to gay pornography. Advancing the positive value of pornography as a way to help fantasize and experience greater sexual pleasure and ingenuity, personal techniques are demonstrated and deployed in a High Noon dream of sexual adventure.

2002
The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory is a suite of monologues in the voice of a fictionalized serial killer, one monologue for each victim. The camera, with an almost structuralist rigor, pans up and down simple line drawings of each of the seventeen victims. A Black Sabbath song, picked apart and extended, serves as punctuation and soundtrack. Reinke has described the video as, "My autobiography as Jeffrey Dahmer."  But really, as the narrator says, "It's all about the victims."

1987
Cecelia Dougherty, Claudia

An experiment in placing lesbian sexuality in its most common environment, daily life. Dougherty's initial intention was to represent lesbian sexuality with an objective camera by getting rid of all expressive aspects of camerawork — no close-ups, no zooms, no interesting angles or changes in subject-object dynamic, just straight-ahead shots. In this video, Dougherty studies whether sexuality can be separated from erotica, and whether all depictions of sexual acts are pornographic.

1991
Coal Miner's Granddaughter

Shot primarily in Fisher-Price pixelvision, for the “murky look of memory," Coal Miner’s Granddaughter is a profoundly moving family portrait focusing on the youngest daughter Jane, as she leaves her Pennsylvania home and finds sexual independence in San Francisco. This semi-autobiographical narrative is remarkable for Dougherty’s unconventional approach: working with non-professional, plain-looking actors and improvised dialogue to recreate the life of the “average” family, and women who are “Plain Janes with big desires.”

1989
Color Schemes, 1989, Shu Lea Cheang

Color Schemes was exhibited in its installation form (with a self-service washing machine) at the Whitney Museum in 1990. Using the washing machine as a metaphor for the great American “melting pot” of ethnicity, the video presents individuals from a variety of ethnic backgrounds “representing” their ethnicity — in one sense by being on camera, and also by acting out or speaking about ethnic divisions.

2019

“The second in a planned trilogy of films about desire and domesticity that began with Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (2017), Come Coyote examines issues around queer reproduction, intimacy, and motherhood. Collaborators and partners Dani and Sheilah ReStack capture in fleeting, diaristic images the tender and terrifying feelings they have around ushering new life into the world, conveyed with both humor and a powerful immediacy."

— Projections at NYFF, 2019 catalogue

1995
Shu Lea Cheang, Coming Home

This humorous video begins with two women—one white, the other Asian—attempting to fit into a Japanese bathtub. The awkward fitting of bodies into a small space is just one of the allegorical scenarios dramatized in a pressing appeal for lesbian rights. In a game of hanafuda (flower cards), the terms of lesbian domesticity are cleverly played out according to such legalities as joint property, social security, and pensions.

Script/Performance Izumo Marou and Claire Maree, Superdyke Inc. Japan.

Song by Chu.

2010
A.K. Burns & A.L. Steiner, Community Action Center

Community Action Center is a 69-minute sociosexual video by A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner which incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by porn-romance-liberation films, such as works by Fred Halsted, Jack Smith, James Bidgood, Joe Gage and Wakefield Poole, which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, landscapes and the body politic of a particular time and place.

2005
Compromise

Compromise is Episode 1 of the video art trilogy, This is More Than Love I Feel Inside, in which Jillian Peña traces a queer relationship from inception to demise.

1994
Confirmed Bachelor

“Criminality may present itself as a kind of saintly self-mastery, an absolute rejection of hypocrisy.”

—Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978)

1992
Conspiracy of Lies

"Conspiracy Of Lies speaks of the alienation of minorities, of consumer culture, urban isolation and the fine balance between mental order and chaos. The video begins with a voice (my own) recounting the story of the discovery of a series of diary entries and lists written by an anonymous author. When I found the texts, I assumed the author to be a white, gay man, like myself. Through the use of twelve narrators of different race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, I attempted to destabilize my own subjectivity and challenge my pre-existing assumptions regarding difference.

1972
The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd

From 1970 to 1972, Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America recorded the private life of a not-so-average American couple-Carel Row and Ferd Eggan. She is a porn actress and filmmaker; he is a bisexual junkie. The video verite camera captures the desires and frustrations of their evolving relationship and their responses to the ongoing videotaping exercise. The tape, a study in "the effect of living too close to an electronic medium," reveals attitudes and discussions that also render it a fascinating social document of the west coast counterculture.

1994
Couch

From the point of view of the psychoananlyst's chair, we witness images that place us implicitly within the scene. The images depict two embracing men, and suggest a complex and ambiguous web of associations. The embrace is both erotic and tender, and invites questions about power relationships. The pain of love and possible rejection is exposed through the flash of a naked leg, or the vulnerability of a fleeting expression.

1984
Covert Action

Covert Action is a stunning melange of rapid-fire retro imagery accomplishing Child’s proclaimed goal to “disarm my movies.” “I wanted to examine the erotic behind the social, and remake those gestures into a dance that would confront their conditioning and, as well, relay the multiple fictions the footage suggests (the ‘facts’ forever obscured in the fragments left us). The result is a narrative developed by its periphery, a story like rumor: impossible to trace, disturbing, explosive.”

2016
Ann Cvetkovich: An Interview

Ann Cvetkovich is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is the author of a number of books and works also with documentary film, memoirs, music and dance performances, and visual art. Her work focuses on feminist and queer theory, affect and feeling, trauma, theories of the archive and oral history.