The MIT List Visual Arts Center is proud to present the work of Michelle Handleman in collaboration with CineMental.
BloodSisters, a groundbreaking look into a piece of hidden feminist history, suppressed and taken out of circulation in the 1997 congressional censorship battles and now back in release through the Tribeca Institute’s Reframe collection. It’s a feature-length documentary about the political activities and sexual choices of the San Francisco lesbian SM community. This community is a highly organized group of women who interact through an intense exchange of physical body play, master/slave relationships, and a commitment to political activism. Featuring interviews with several gender-bending leaders of the scene including Pat Califia, (now Patrick Califia) an author and activist who’s collection of erotic fiction Macho Sluts broke open the field of lesbian erotica; Skeeter, a young British ex-pat who has been part of the SF leatherdyke scene for several years as a performer and fetish gear maker; and Queen Cougar, an African-American activist and titleholder of the 1993 Ms San Francisco Leather contest. By following these women and cutting between their personal lives, political activities and candid interviews, BloodSisters illuminates the intelligence behind the sensation; providing an in-depth picture of the leather SM community as a progressive grass-roots organization that challenges fixed ideas of gender identity and fights against discrimination as sexual outlaws within the queer community. Through their own words, we will hear about the serious business that goes on in this group of women trying to better understand themselves and better the community at the same time. “A ground-breaking documentary!” - Time Out, New York
Handelman’s new mulitmedia work, Dorian will be on exhibition at The MIT List Visual Arts Center in the show: Virtuoso Illusion: Cross-Dressing and the New Media Avant-Garde organized by Michael Rush from February 5th through April 10, 2010.
Dorian, based on Oscar Wilde’s 19th century novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, employs the queer undertones of the original novel as a starting point for a feminist reworking of the tale through a new queer identity. Told by means of fragmented dialogue and music, each character utilizes their own instrument: Theremin, synthesizer, viola, voice. The cast is a who’s who of NYC performance and art worlds.
CineMental is a monthly queer and/or experimental film/video/performance program at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge on the third Wednesday of every month. CineMental is sponsored by Video Underground in Jamaica Plain. http://www.truthserum.org
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