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Wednesday Night Cinema Society 4/20/22

Dirty Looks Eight Years On
animated gif showcasing images from Dirty Looks program
Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 7:00 pm
Communications 150 (Studio C)

Screening Wednesday April 20, 7pm 
Wednesday Night Cinema Society
Communications Building Studio C

For 10 years, Bradford Nordeen (current FDM Ph.D.) ran Dirty Looks Inc, a platform for queer film video and performance. Dirty Looks: Eight Years On celebrated our eighth anniversary with a retrospective program of signature delights that queer the pop cannon and (under)mine history for all of her unanswered questions. Ranging from digital drag revisionism to post-bohemian celluloid, Dirty Looks: Eight Years On reassesses the past through a fiercely queer and politicized lens: “who brought us here?” and “where are we now?” Selected across eight years of screenings, from 16mm films, super8 transfers, Hi8, HD video and Getty stock footage, this DL Cliff’s Notes spins circles around contemporary queer subjectivities, snarling with a punk zeal and a utopian demand for more.

Warren Sonbert + Wendy Appel, Amphetamine, 16mm, B&W, 10 min., 1966
Brontez Purnell, 100 Boyfriends Mixtape (the demo), Super 8 on video, 8min., 2017
Jill Reiter, Frenzy, Super 8 on digital video, 12min., 1993
Lila De Magalhaes, Poppers (promo for Xina Xurner), video, 5min., 2013
Michael Robinson, Onward Lossless Follows, HD video, 17min., 2017
Chris E. Vargas, Liberaceón, SD video, 13min., 2011
Aimee Goguen, tongue job, Hi8 on SD video, 4min., 2013
Mariah Garnett, Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin, 16mm, 15min., 2012


Filmed while the artist was still studying at NYU, Amphetamine is a drug-addled portal into 60s bohemian culture by way of impressionistic experimental cinema. Gay druggy sex and The Supremes. The usual.
Initially screened April 25, 2012 at Judson Memorial Church

Commissioned by Visual Aids, the uncensored version of Brontez Purnell’s “demo” casts the punk musician, author, choreographer and filmmaker as Warhol starlet Edie Sedgwick and occasions to wonder just how much trouble can she get into in one loquacious bathtub phone call.
Initially screened October 19, 2018 at Never Apart, Montreal

Recently reconstructed from the original super8 negatives, Jill Reiter’s free-wheeling concert fantasia depicts a Riot Grrrl gig in the desolate warehouse district of Williamsburg (it was the 90s). Frenzy comes on like an attitudinal document of the exploding music scene, where a wanton crowd tears the band apart mid set and a cunnilingus line offers just desserts.
Initially screened October 15, 2012 at MIX Film Festival

A promo video for the single from Xina Xurner’s debut album, Die. In Poppers, band members Marvin Astorga and Young Joon Kwak conjure an orgiastic Ophelia in the back of a Toyota flatbed, with the help of their Mutant Salon crew.
DL collaborated with Astorga and Kwak as curators in On Location, 2018

An oblique and suggestive rumination on a lovers' discourse in the socio-digital/doomsday age, Michael Robinson’s newest video overloads disparate signifiers to depict how text exchanges construct emotional space. Is this a new, borderless frontier for communication, or did we just ditch the password, allowing for yet another psychical kidnap?
DL's first collaboration with Robinson took place April 20, 2011 at Participant Inc

Liberace died in February of 1987. The following month ACT UP was formed. In Chris E. Vargas’ humorous digital drag reenactment, the artist suggests reparative measures for this rather problematic queer icon. What if the activist organization was founded on account of this dying man’s cri de ceour?
DL presented the first-ever survey of Vargas' film work February 26, 2013 at Anthology Film Archives

Combining grainy, Hi8 video with experimental animation and ominous sound design, Aimee Goguen’s videos depict the artist and friends in fraternal playroom hazings, displaced erotic games that test the limits of intimacy and bodily functions when the task at hand is pushed a touch too far.
Initially screened May 28, 2014 at White Columns

In Mariah Garnett’s 16mm evocation of a queer porn star, the artist drifts through three unlikely scenarios for iconographic reflection. Posing, projecting and documenting all have their representational pitfalls in this hypothetical artistic union.
Initially screened February 14, 2012 at The Hammer Museum


Dirty Looks: Eight Years On has been presented at NeverApart, Montreal; The Stud, San Francisco; Binghamton University; Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester; Rhode Island School of Design; Space Gallery, Portland ME; The Cock NYC; Institute for Contemporary Art, Richmond; The Block Museum, Evanston; Northwest Film Center, Portland OR; UC Berkeley; and Ace Hotel, Los Angeles. 


Dirty Looks Inc is a platform for queer film, video and performance founded in 2011 by Bradford Nordeen. Using film and time-based art to illuminate queer histories and liminal spaces across Los Angeles and New York City, Dirty Looks traces contemporary queer aesthetics through historical works, presenting quintessential GLBTQ film and video, alongside up-and-coming artists and filmmakers. Dirty Looks exhibits a lineage of queer tactics and visual styles for younger artists, casual viewers and seasoned avant-garde filmgoers, alike. A nebulous collective, we have worked closely with Karl McCool, Clara López Menéndez, in addition to over 50 guest curators, through our month-long, city-spanning festival Dirty Looks: On Location. DL began regular Los Angeles programming in January 2015, instating a national reach for our programs. This is further bolstered by our Dirty Looks Volume series, which accumulates writing and ephemera that reflects our year-round programming in slim publications issued annually.