Pittsburgh's Avant-Garde II: Imaging the Flesh: Queer & Feminist Pioneers in Handcrafted Film

Nov 14

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Tue, Nov 14

Featuring works by Roger Jacoby, Peggy Ahwesh, and Stephanie Beroes. Roundtable with Emily Davis: former Senior Research Associate for the Time-Based Media Project at the Carnegie Museum of Art; Melissa Ragona: Associate Professor of Art History & Theory, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University; and Michael Johnsen, musician and filmmaker.

Between the '70s-'90s, the convergence of punks, poets, artists, and unemployed steelworkers at Pittsburgh Filmmakers resulted in hundreds of 16mm films that were strange, gritty, and 100% independent from Hollywood. This installment accents the wild styles coming out of Filmmakers, with a special focus on women, queer people, and artists with working-class perspectives.

Roger Jacoby’s films, such as How to Be a Homosexual Parts I and II, are cited as early examples of a "gay sensibility" of avant-garde film. There is only one copy each of Jacoby’s hand-processed film portraits, in which he distorted the optical/sound tracks of film by using a variety of chemical "soups." Later punk-inspired films by Peggy Ahwesh and Stephanie Beroes stand as important feminist works, wherein boundaries between art and everyday life are thoroughly blurred. Ahwesh and Beroes--who both worked at Pittsburgh Filmmakers as programmers and instructors--mixed autobiographical experience and collage art in their filmmaking.

Films:

The Color of Love. Peggy Ahwesh. 1994
From Romance to Ritual. Peggy Ahwesh. 1985
Dream Sphinx Opera. Roger Jacoby. 1974
How to Be a Homosexual Part I. Roger Jacoby. 1980
How to Be a Homosexual Part II. Roger Jacoby. 1982.
Recital. Stephanie Beroes. 1978.