Activism

1973, 2018

This is an audiovisual manifesto in support of people in resistance against a military coup.

In A Case for the Closet, Glennda Orgasm and Judy LaBruce host an episode of Closet Talk. They discuss why they are for people staying in the closet, and attribute coming out of the closet to the mediocrity, and thus downfall, of gay culture. Glennda and Judy establish their new movement, XXX Gay (replacing the postqueer movement), and explain its philosphies and values.

a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert extends Coco Fusco’s in-depth examination of racialized imagery. Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against Black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations. These actions bear a striking resemblance to contemporary Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.

An audiovisual experience of the current Mexican war.

One of Zaatari’s earliest experiments in documentary video, All Is Well on the Border emerged from the filmmaker’s desire to understand Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon following the 1982 Lebanon War. The video presents a series of testimonies by Lebanese citizens who were detained during the occupation, each presenting an image of resistance that falls outside the dominant narrative of liberation and solidarity promoted by the Lebanese left.

Alt, 2014

A call for a political transformation, a life that emerges from the earth's own interior.

Amerika, 2019

A Kafkian vision of the New World. The arrival of Karl Rossman to the contemporary Babylon under the spell of the paranoid avant-garde. Kinetic coexistence of the archaic forms in dissolution.

In the video An Evening with Kembra, Glennda and Brenda attend one of Kembra Pfahler's dinner shows on New York City's Lower East Side. At her show, she performs cabaret versions of songs from her band The Volumptuous Horror of Karen Black. After the show, the group discusses the relationship of her work to queer culture. Interspersed throughout the video are two short clips: a skit entitled Drag Queen Starter Kit, and a call to boycott a bakery due to its discriminatory behavior. 

Anábasis, 2019

A political composition on natural resistance. These images are an expiring breath in danger of extinction. These images become extinguished, consumed: a drop, a pure intensity which only appears when falling. In the presence of the image these audiovisual crowds become an affected body, assaulted by entropy. A face exhausted and reanimated by the continuous sound trance that traverses the battlefield. Faces for an eye that would not need to see.

Arterias, 2019

This is the common audiovisual system that interconnects the body of the workers and the industrial machinery of the actual system.

In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times – the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This video documents an interview with the wife of Bobby Seale, Artie Seale.

In Bad Grrrls, Glennda and Fonda LaBruce attend a Riot Grrrl conference on New York’s Lower East Side. At the conference, they conduct interviews with punk women, performers and artists, including Penny Arcade and Sadie Benning. In doing so, Glennda and Fonda navigate a range of perspectives on feminism, punk, and underground activism. Furthermore, they engage with questions of drag’s relationship with feminism, and how one would reconcile the problems of punk with Riot Grrrl’s desire for women’s liberation. 

Batalla, 2019

After the ominous attack that the paramilitary and police corporations carried out on September 26, 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero, the student Aldo Gutiérrez Solano remains in a coma until today. A brief homage to the resistance of the body fighting against power.

Glenn Belverio is an independent filmmaker and drag artist who lives and works in New York City. In 1990, he began producing and co-hosting the popular Manhattan Cable series The Brenda and Glennda Show, a talk show that mixed activism with comedy as it took drag out of the clubs and onto the street. In 1993, the show became Glennda and Friends, a post-queer task show featuring provocative co-starts such as gay pornographer Bruce LaBruce and guerrilla scholar Camille Paglia.

This is the burial hymn for thousands of souls in the anthropocentric times. The ghosts of the American way of life. Part of the Hauntology series.

Blight, 1996

"Blight was made in collaboration with composer Jocelyn Pook. It revolves around the building of the M11 Link Road in East London, which provoked a long and bitter campaign by local residents to protect their homes from demolition. Until 1994, when our houses were destroyed, both the composer and I lived on the route of this road. The images in the film are a selective record of some of the changes which occurred in the area over a two-year period, from the demolition of houses through to the start of motorway building work.

M+ Museum presented A Body in Hong Kong in two locations as part of Mobile M+: Live Art, 2015. Tim Mei Avenue, where Eiko chose and performed, was the main site of 2014 Umbrella Revolution. Nearly 100,000 people camped out, and in doing so, stopped traffic on twelve-lane highways and created a politically charged sphere.

Through a stack of personal journals, this video reconstructs a biography of the South Dakota-born, New York City-enlightened artist James Wentzy. Tracing his days starting out as a struggling artist and later involved as an AIDS activist, the video provides an intimate portrait of a neglected hero. Wentzy reads from journals and shares old family snapshots and notebook sketches. “I hope I don’t die of sainthood,” Wentzy jokes in an entry from 1990—the pivotal time when he was becoming involved with ACT-UP and beginning to live healthier after the revelation of his HIV-positive status.

This is the flowers under attack. An entire ecosystem under attack. This is the omen of the bugambilia. This is the pulsation of the nervous trance of petals in the anthropocentric times. Part of the Hauntology series.

Spanning two years of protest and resistance, this video chronicles the politically-motivated police harassment of the homeless population in Manhattan’s Lower East Side; including suspected arson, illegal eviction, and the demolition of buildings that forced families onto the street. Taking its title from a quote by Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary is an indictment of government systems that violate the law willfully and at random in the service of wealthy real estate developers.

"We buried ten Cadillacs in a row alongside Interstate 40 (the old Route 66), just west of Amarillo, Texas; each car represented a model change in the evolution of the tail fin. This was clearly a sculptural act, but with a minimal amount of formal manipulation. Media Burn, created a year later in San Francisco, was a live performance. It was a spectacle staged for the camera culminating in the 4,000 pound Phantom Dream Car crashing through a pyramid of TV sets to the cheers of the audience of 400.

Starting with student-recorded VHS footage of two successive Take Back the Night marches at Princeton University, Birnbaum develops a saga of political awareness through personalized experiences. This localized student activity then progresses to, and is contrasted with, the 1988 National Student Convention at Rutgers University. Through this dynamic portrait, Birnbaum posits a series of compelling questions: How can the voice of the individual make itself seen and heard in our technocratic society? What forms of demonstration support this expression? How is a voice of dissent made possible?

A Kafkian vision of the New World. The arrival of Karl Rossman to the contemporary Babylon under the spell of the paranoid avant-garde. Kinetic coexistence of the archaic forms in dissolution.

The Videofreex had several experiences with the Black Panther Party, including interviewing Illinois Chapter Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and New Haven Minister of Information Cappy Pinderhughes. In this tape, recorded on March 5th 1971, the Videofreex one-person camera crew Bart Friedman is walking the hallways of CBS, trying to find out where a video statement by Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver is located. The shots are mostly close up on people’s torsos and there is some image loss, but the sound is intact. The tape has an eerie espionage feel.

Shot in October 1969, this tape gives an inside view of the workings of late-sixties radical groups and the debates going on within their ranks. At a meeting of Yippies, there is a discussion about the nuts and bolts of fundraising through benefit concerts and events in an attempt to finance support efforts related to the Chicago 8 Conspiracy Trial.