A new exhibition at La MaMa brings together the various threads of New York City nightlife, art, and HIV/AIDS activism. The close ties were always there but curators, gallerists, and artists seem to be reassessing spaces that are thought to be reserved for escapism and debauchery. Osman Can Yerebakan and Emily Colucci (who has contributed to this blog in the past) are the curatorial team behind Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980. The show has been in the works for two years, so Colucci and her curatorial partner have been able to compile an incredible array of archival materials, photographs, and work by artists who are long gone and contemporary artists and activists who are ensuring the party rages on.
A “roaming screening series” has set up shop in venues across New York City and unofficially dubbed July queer cinema month. Maybe you’ve seen the posters around town for Dirty Looks: On Location, which the organizers are calling “a series of queer interventions” in the form of performance art, but mostly cinema inside LGBT cultural landmarks, art institutions, DIY spaces, and even in places where the ghosts of queer past linger, like defunct bathhouses and former meeting spots. Screenings are showcasing not just classics of gay cinema but recent efforts by local up-and-comings.