At Plummer Park
An exhibition of 15 artists on queer collage drawn from the archives alongside work by contemporary artists.
ANITA STECKEL, Anita of New York Meets Tom of Finland, 2004/2005, Mixed media on book pages, 19.6″ x 13.5″. Photo by Adam Reich. Courtesy Estate of Anita Steckel and the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York
Cock, Paper, Scissors places special focus on the work of four rarely exhibited artists that produced collages for personal pleasure drawn from the collections at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. From ONE, this includes the anonymous “Graphic Albums Collection,” which combines gay male pornography with pages from interior design and visual arts magazines, and the collages by erotic artist Olaf Odegaard. From the Leslie-Lohman Museum, this includes the anonymous “West End Collection,” a vast archive of Xeroxed collages of BDSM imagery, many including Nazi fetishism, and collages by psychic Ingo Swann, who developed a process known as “remote viewing” for the CIA during the 1970s. In addition, the exhibition includes collages by Steve Blevins as reproduced in gay porn magazines from the 1980s, often as illustrations for erotic fiction. Theses eclectic producers all utilize gay male pornography to innovative and wildly explicit ends.
While Cock, Paper, Scissors is undoubtedly a celebration of the numerous uses of gay male pornography, the inclusion of historical and contemporary feminist collage practices seeks to address gay male phallocentrism with feminist critique and lesbian power. The exhibition includes a site-specific installation by feminist pioneer Mary Beth Edelson, part of an ongoing series of collage projects initiated years after her renowned collage posters of the 1970s; a series of preparatory collages by Marlene McCarty produced for her large-scale drawings of young women who committed patricide; and a series of mixed-media collages by veteran feminist artist Anita Steckel that places the artist within drawings by Tom of Finland, exploring the possibility of alternate forms of cross-gender desire and visual pleasure.
Many of the artists in Cock, Paper, Scissors utilize collage for deconstruction or intervention within the circulation of images. Enrique Castrejon meticulously cuts-up and measures the figures from the gay porn magazine Black Inches. Jonathan Molina-Garcia combines images of his own body with those of older HIV+ men as part of a larger series on gay male intergenerational knowledge. Suzanne Wright merges the female body with monumental and utopian architecture. Glenn Ligon plays with the vernacular form of the photo-album, combining fetishistic photographs of Black men with family photographs. Jade Yumang screen-prints pages from vintage porn magazines onto fancifully decorative bundles of soft sculpture phalluses. In a newly commissioned work responding to the archive of West End, Kate Huh utilizes fragments from the collection to produce collages that are embroidered by LJ Roberts.
Opening reception: Saturday, 6-9p
Runs through 10th July