Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avene (at 2nd Street)
New York, NY 10003
CHRIS E. VARGAS In Attendance!
Dirty Looks returns from their West Coast roadshow, screening the first-ever retrospective program of work by Bay Area artist, Chris E. Vargas!!
Perhaps best known as one half of the web series “Falling in Love … with Chris and Greg,” a sitcom about a queer odd couple — one liberal, one radical; one transgender, one not — Vargas has produced a body of work that is politically subversive, culturally acute and utterly hysterical. From post-apocalyptic LA bikers to “the first pregnant man,” Liberace to Bronski Beat, these works challenge the homonormative, queering pop culture and rewriting GLBTQ histories.
Road Rash, Super8 on video, 6min., 2003
Homotopia (with Eric Stanley), digital video, 26min., 2006
Falling in Love… With Chris and Greg: Work of Art! Reality TV Special, digital video, 23min., 2008
Extraordinary Pregnancies, digital video, 10min., 2010
Have You Ever Seen a Transsexual Before?, digital video, 4 min., 2010
Liberaceón, digital video, 16min., 2011
ONE for all…, digital video, 7min., 2012
CRY BOY CRY, digital video, 5min., 2012
Beginning with Vargas’s first Super8 film, this program will explore the artist’s penchant for humorous impersonations and socio-political reinterpretations. Homotopia finds Vargas collaborating with Eric Stanley on a narrative short, in which radical queers crash the hypocritical wedding ceremony of a recent tearoom trick. Extraordinary Pregnancies explores the transphobic discourses parlayed through the media firestorm that surrounded the world’s first pregnant man, Thomas Beatie. In the video from which this program takes its title, Vargas enlightens various American landmarks with his trans body, begging of them the question, “Have You Ever Seen a Transsexual Before?” In both ONE for all... and Liberaceón, the artist portrays historically queer public figures (philanthropist Reed Erickson and mister showmanship, Liberace), rearticulating (rather comically) these icons relationships to queer politics and philosophical standpoints within their respective epochs. And, in the recent episode of “Falling in Love... with Chris and Greg”: Season Two, Chris and Greg compete against fellow artists to create the perfect work of queer failure, inserting themselves in Bravo’s reality TV show, “Work of Art.” Hint, it does not end well.