University of California-Berkeley Art Historian Julia Bryan-Wilson presents K G A Y in L.A.: Queer Video and the Politics of Viewership.
In 1979, artist John Dorr inaugurated weekly screenings of experimental videos at the West Hollywood Community Center. Lacking a dedicated viewing space, he clustered folding chairs around a large monitor and showed a range of locally produced queer media, including campy features, abstract formal experiments and graphic porn. The screenings were such a success that Dorr soon opened his own space, called EZTV, in a nearby strip mall, which grew into a video collective that also rented out production equipment and provided tech support for queer artists. This pioneering independent video gallery – the first in the US – was not only a resource for alternative media-makers throughout the 1980s, but also became a primary site of organizing for the Southern California branches of ACT UP and Queer Nation. In this talk, Bryan-Wilson examines how the particular geography of gay male Los Angeles gave rise to EZTV as a dense and complex queer location, not least because of the intersection of Hollywood media culture, developing alternative video technologies, and politicized discourses surrounding queer gazes, representations and sexualities.
Julia Bryan-Wilson is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include questions of artistic labour, feminism and queer theory. Her writings on artists such as Laylah Ali, Ida Applebroog, Sadie Benning, Harmony Hammond, Sharon Hayes, Cristóbal Lehyt, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Anne Wilson and Francesca Woodman have appeared in exhibition catalogues as well as in the Art Bulletin, Artforum, Bookforum, Camera Austria, Camera Obscura, October, Journal of Modern Craft and Oxford Art Journal. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (University of California, 2009), which was named an “outstanding academic title” by Choice magazine, and the editor of Robert Morris, forthcoming from MIT Press/October Files series. Bryan-Wilson was an essayist for the State of Mind catalogue, as well as the project art historian for the Pacific Standard Time exhibition Collaboration Labs.
Julia Bryan-Wilson’s lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition currently on view at the Belkin Art Gallery, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970.
At the Belkin Art Gallery.
All welcome. Free admission.
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