“Die Kränken: Sprayed with Tears” | 11th February | LA

A group of artists formed in 2015 in response to the extensive holdings on gay motorcycle clubs in Southern California housed at ONE Archives. Taking its inspiration from these outlaw clubs, die Kränken’s projects examine the significance and complicated history of these motorcycle groups through a variety of multimedia and performative strategies. Frustrated by gay assimilationist aspirations, die Kränken strives for new strategies of queer radicality. The group’s name, translating to “the sick” in German, references both the historical pathologization of homosexuality and the pandemic of a generation of gay men, while nodding to the Blue Max, a local motorcycle club founded in 1968 that fetishized Prussian military uniforms and culture. Die Kränken sees a link between these clubs and the contemporary alienation felt in response to culture at large.

The exhibition Die Kränken: Sprayed with Tears is the culmination of two years or work by the group. The exhibition’s centerpiece is the video Sprayed with Tears, a re-telling of the Blue Max’s signature performance “The Rose of No Man’s Land.” In the original Blue Max presentation, a WWI fighter pilot is shot down and brought back to life by a Red Cross nurse performed in drag by a club member. Die Kränken’s version draws on the iconography and DIY visual aesthetics of the original performances while complicating the play’s narrative arch. The exhibition also includes a video memorializing the raid of The Black Pipe, a gay leather bar raided by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1972; a series of prints reproducing imagery from the Blue Max Motorcycle Club Collection at ONE Archives by artists Jonesy and Jamie C. Knight; and the presentation of screen-printed handkerchiefs that re-imagine the Hanky Code, a form of signally sexual desire commonly utilized by gay men in the 1970s.

Opening reception: Saturday, 6-9p
Runs through 8th April

 

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Jeffrey Erdman named Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2016

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On April 2nd, Jeffrey Erdman was named Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2016. Jeffery is a member and supporter of Tom of Finland Foundation. In fact, he even met his partner Xavier Espejo at a party held at the Foundation two years ago.

Jefferey Erdman and Xavier Espejo

Jeffrey goes on to represent the city of Los Angeles at International Mr. Leather, held in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend.

Currently, Jeffrey sits on the Board of Directors of the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, which is the world’s largest collection of LGBT literary, educational, historical, and cultural materials and resources. Jeffrey has previously served on the Boards of Directors of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, as well as the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. He has also previously sat on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and served as Chair of the California State Bar Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination and advisor to the Access and Fairness Committee of the Judicial Council of California.

He has also been active in a variety of other community organizations, including Equality California; the Mountain AIDS Foundation; Volunteers in Parole, Inc.; Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; the Human Rights Campaign; and others.

1st and 2nd runners up are Joe Gregory and Eric Slayton.

Jeffrey Erdman with 1st and 2nd runners up Joe Gregory and Eric Slayton

The contest was held at the Globe Theater in downtown Los Angeles. It was preceded by an entire week of events known as Los Angeles Leather Pride. These events included a Roast of Patrick Smith, Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2015. Patrick is also the current Mr. International Mr. Leather.

Patrick Smith, Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2015

Tom of Finland Foundation, along with the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives and Sexual Minorities Uganda were named charity partners by the LA Leather Pride Committee for 2016.

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