Burning The Days, curated film programme
Burning the Days brings together works by Chris Kraus, Vanalyne Green, James Richards, Sarah Schulman with Jim Hubbard and an accompanying discussion, seeks to consider the contradictory legacies of social acceptance as a site of contested ownership, ambivalence and violent, hurtful rejection. Questioning how the periphery encounters such legitimatising forces, the films re-cast the detritus of the sexually charged and disregarded body, placing aim at the discordant historical stakes in censorship, the voice and personal testimonies. 12.00 - 13.30 James Richards' film, Rosebud, 2013 folds spatial and private spheres with a melancholic surface desire. Filming pages from catalogues of Robert Mapplethorpe and May Ray's work in a library in Japan, Richards' reveals a delicate, yet officious scrubbing-out where genitals or sex would have appeared. His filming of nondescript parks, puddles or would-be cruising grounds, or the extreme close-ups of dollar bills, press upon the emptying pulse of capitalism as a potentially transgressive identificatory placeholder for the dispossessed. 13mins.
Sarah Schulman & Jim Hubbard, Mary Dorman Interview 30, 2003, is part of an ongoing project to create an archive of testimonies from the surviving members of ACT UP, (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power). The film, shown in its entirety here with kind permission by Schulman, (the film is currently available to the public in the New York Public Library and San Francisco Library), recollects Dorman's time as the attorney for the group ACT UP. A group that through their activism changed US law, the medical care system and, more broadly, perception of the virus across the world. ACT UP's actions benefitted those that were disenfranchised or deemed pariahs through their consuming illness and stigmatised identities. 77mins 14.30 - 16.00http://www.actuporalhistory.org/interviews/images/dorman.pdf
Vanalyne Green's film, What Happens to You, 1992, augments feminist activism against the deadening paralysis of US right wing George Bush-era politics viewed through the banality of daytime chat shows and work-out-at-home videos. The sense of futility and exhaustion becomes personified in the central character whose day-dreaming and fantasy visions provides a dangerous outcome. 38mins
Chris Kraus's film, How To Shoot A Crime, 1987, combines real and reconstructed crime scenarios from interviews made with theorist Sylvère Lotringer and crime photographer with the NYPD, George Diaz. The film also incorporates interviews from photographer Brian Weil and S/M couples in the late 1970s. Weil had recently made the 'Sex' photographic series which includes many from the S/M scene at that time. The film's loose documentary style set in the Lower East Side of New York maps the emerging gentrification of the area, and provides a rich counterpoint to Sarah Schulman's films and recent essays. 30mins