"Into the body or into the medium"
Tate Modern, London
February 25, 2012
part of Barbara Hammer's film retrospective, curated by Stuart Comer
Artist Emily Roysdon has been commissioned by Tate Modern to develop this special event as a response to the work of Barbara Hammer. Roysdon has curated the episodic video project "Falling in Love With Chris and Greg" by Chris Vargas and Greg Youmans.
click here to watch the series online
"Into your body or into the medium?"
- Superdyke Meets Madame X
In 1976 Barbara Hammer filmed an exciting sexual meet and greet with Max Almay. In 2008 Chris Vargas and Greg Youmans began making a series that satirized the challenges of their genderqueer relationship. With striking similarities and crucial differences with these two projects are end points of radical sexual representation. Hammer was the first to invite the camera into the lesbian body while 30 years later Vargas and Youmans breakdown the current state of trans feminist intimacy. Sharing humor, hippie genders, radical politics and San Francisco, but diverging on scripting, the precedent of reality tv, talking about sex instead of showing it, and transgender identity.
Vargas and Youmans are cognizant of Hammer, students of queer film history, and they, like Hammer are working to insert not just political questions of representation, but their intimacy, into the discourse.
1. Superdyke Meets Madame X
1976, 28 min. Video, B&W with sound
Made with Max Almy
Chris Vargas and Greg Youmans
2. O Canada!
2008, 18 min, DV
In the premiere episode of "Falling In Love...", Chris and Greg tackle the issues of open relationships, Canadianism, and lactose intolerance.
3. Road Trip! TV Special
2008, 23 min, DV
In the sophomore episode of "Falling In Love...", Chris and Greg explore the epic topics of gay marriage and pregnant men during a road trip through the American Southwest.
4. A Special Election PSA
2008, 3 min, DV
Chris and Greg offer some advice to consider before heading to the polls.
5. Hair Breakdown Special
2009, 4 min, DV
A receding hair line throws Chris into crisis. Greg just wants to cuddle.
Chris Vargas is a film & video maker whose areas of interest include queer/transgender history, tabloid biography, and radical politics. In 2011, he earned his MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently teaches digital video production. His solo video work includes Have You Ever Seen a Transsexual Before? (2010) and Libéraceon (2011). With Eric Stanley he is the co-director of the movie Homotopia (2006), as well as its forthcoming feature-length sequel, Criminal Queers (2011).
Greg Youmans is a film scholar as well as a videomaker. He earned his Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he teaches in the Department of Film & Digital Media. His research explores the social and political role of queer cinemas during the 1970s. In November 2011, Arsenal Pulp Press will publish his book on the documentary Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (dir. Mariposa Film Group, 1977). He is now working on his next book, Moral Panic Media: Gay and Lesbian Filmmaking in the Time of Anita Bryant.