The Mayor of Folsom Street! The exhibit at the Center for Sex and Culture opens on Friday and this is installation week. So, here’s the sneak! Above, memorial Leather Jacket by Bill Bowers. Bill is a former Cockette and long-time Queer Underground couturier. Cool art kid Rik Lee is doing his website these days. Check it out! He’s even done stage wear for Keith Richards the Rolling Stone. Dig! Alan dressed Metal bands and did foundation garments for punk fashion queen Vivienne Westwood, so having Bill’s tribute jacket as a centerpiece for this show is pure copacetic.
An assortment of “smalls” – prior to installation. Lots of stories, here!
Worn Levi’s 501s, the crotch has been mended with leather and has worn through yet AGAIN! Damn, Dad. With Malebox jockstrap and an assortment of “friendship” pins, including one from The 15 Association. Alan, the original “Mr. S” was at the founding meeting, and was a long-time honorary member of this 35 year-old San Francisco-based men’s S/m fraternity.
Daddy Alan Selby. It’s been nearly a decade since we lost him. At that time, he was working on his autobiography, titled “The Mayor of Folsom Street.” In memorium, this year, that book will finally be published. It’s planned release is December, 2014. On June 6th, an exhibit based of materials from his archive will open at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. In 2015, the archive will move to Chicago, to The Leather Archive and Museum. On Sunday, March 2nd, the project will launch at CSC. A small, informal fundraiser from 5 to 8 pm will feature a short reading from the book, a sneak peak at the exhibit, a silent auction, an open mic of speakers and the launch of the Mayor of Folsom St t-shirt fundraising campaign.
Center for Sex and Culture’s Exhibition Catalog of Safer Sex Posters
The Center for Sex and Culture, located in San Francisco, is publishing an art exhibition catalog on our safer sex poster collection in conjunction with an exhibition displaying these posters at our gallery. The 2-month exhibition opens on November 8, 2013.
Buzz Bense, sex activist and graphic designer, donated over 150 unique posters to CSC last year. Bense has collected and produced safer-sex posters aimed at members of the LGBTQ community since the mid-1980s. Circulated at a time when the community was particularly hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, these posters comprise a striking aesthetic collection of graphically innovative design that explicitly visualizes homosexuality, diverse LGBTQ communities and safer-sex activism.
SF AIDS Foundation
Because of the cultural and historical significance of the posters, we are inspired to share these images and their story with people in the Bay Area and beyond. It is easy to forget details of recent history, especially when related to sexual history because it is less likely to be preserved. This project aims to preserve and share some of what might easily be lost. The book will contain over 20 color reproductions of posters, an introduction by CSC’s executive director, Dr. Carol Queen, and an essay by the New York based art historian and curator, Alex Fialho, and an interview between Buzz and Alex about the history of the collection. Alex has spent time in San Francisco and New York researching and interviewing the people who created these posters as activists, artists, community organizers, members of health organizations and independent graphics designers.
The collection consists of posters, primarily from San Francisco, but also encompasses other cities throughout the United States. It also includes international representations from Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada. This historical archive presents the visual means through which LGBTQ people passed on life saving information about safer-sex practices during the height of a health epidemic that continues to affect us today.
We are confident the exhibition and book will function as both an art historical survey of the importance of this collection of aesthetically beautiful and functionally informative posters as well as an educational endeavor engaging the LGBTQ community and beyond.
Brothers Network, SF
These posters do more than chart the tragedy of an epidemic, of an outsider community reeling from grief, loss, and the decimation of a blooming culture of sexual liberation. The history of these posters is a story of a fight against stigma, hatred and ignorance; of a community stepping up to take care of its own; of finding a way to extinguish fear and build pride and self-esteem; and of devoted efforts of committed activists to communicate a path to health and survival. -Buzz Bense
Please help FUND this worthy project – the inaugural book of CSC, and one we hope will be the first of many. Kickstarter campaign HERE.
From the exhibit Life and Death in Black and White. Photographers Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter and Daniel Nicoletta picture AIDS activists and actions from the key years between 1985 – 1990. More on this exhibit here. See this small show concurrently with the long-running sampler of the museum’s collection: Our Vast Queer Past. above: April 7th, 1989, UN Plaza, San Francisco. Unidentified member of ACT UP/SF in chains protesting INS exclusion of tourists and potential immigrants with HIV/AIDS. Photo: Marc Geller.
Doubt the death of the author? At art.com, visitors can choose images from the library and preview them framed over the couch in a choice of living rooms or stretched over canvas above the toilet in the bathoom. It’s the ‘view-in-room’ option, a database-driven, semi-automatic and very interactive shopping experience. Most of their images are drawn from the visual arts canon, but they also offer medical stock photography and other arcane scientific and historical subjects, which make for some very strange interior design possibilities. Pictured here: AIDS Virus, Black Background Photographic Print, 32′ x 24″ framed, displayed in the #2 children’s bedroom option. Get it here. Or not.
The venerable and generally conservative National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian has been playing things a little closer to the edge of late. A 2009 exhibit on the self-portraiture of Marcel Duchamp has been followed with this year’s “Hide and Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” – a show broadly based around love on the Gay side. After being pressured by The Catholic League and assorted unnamed “conservatives” the museum has removed the David Wojnarowicz video “A Fire in my Belly” a beautiful and chilling piece with music by Diamanda Galas and which includes an eleven-second sequence of ants crawling on a crucifix.
Gallery Director Martin Sullivan has issued the following statement:
“Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” is an exhibition of 105 works of art that span more than a century of American art and culture. One work, a four-minute video portrait by artist David Wojnarowicz (1987), shows images that may be offensive to some. The exhibition also includes works by highly regarded artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Thomas Eakins and Annie Leibowitz.
I regret that some reports about the exhibit have created an impression that the video is intentionally sacrilegious. In fact, the artist’s intention was to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim. It was not the museum’s intention to offend. We have removed the video.
I encourage people to visit the exhibition online or in the building. Public comments can be directed to National Portrait Gallery PO Box 37012 MRC 973 Washington, D.C. 20013 or email@example.com Martin Sullivan, Director, National Portrait Gallery.”
In reference to screening the video in the first place, Mr. Sullivan writes that it was “not the museum’s intention to offend.” Fair enough. We wonder, though, what the intention was in removing the piece. In placating one set of sensibilities, the Gallery has managed to offend a lot of other sensibilities and a lot of other people. Our people. Gay people. On World AIDS Day. Charming, Mr. Sullivan. And thank you…for the clarification. Anytime a group acquires a bit of political clout, false allies emerge. It is important for us to know who are friends really are. Friends don’t throw friends under the wheels of the Vatican Express. Or the Happy Rainbow Pride Float. Shame on the Smithsonian and the NPG. They sure blew it this time. Really icky! Not fun and sticky…