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.


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.