Queer Lab

Sexuality Studies at UC Riverside

Nao Bustamante: Queer Lab Artist in Residence

Still from Nao Bustamante's "filmformance" Silver and Gold.

Nao Bustamante, film still from Silver and Gold (2009).

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Nao Bustamante will be Queer Lab’s Artist in Residence. Throughout the year, Queer Lab will work with the artist to develop and produce Tierra y Libertad, an exhibition for The Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles. Tierra y Libertad revolves around the historical figure of the soldadera, the woman who fought on the front lines of The Mexican Revolution. Archival photographs of soldaderas surprise us. These women wear long dresses with lace detailing. They hold guns and have ammunition belts strapped across their bodies. They are ready for battle. What is their story? How can we access their history? How did their participation in battle happen then when the idea of women on the front lines of violent conflict is, today, so controversial? What is the gender of violence, of vulnerability? What might a feminist investigation of their experience look like? The artist uses “speculative reenactment” to answer these questions about historical experience. Her visions of these women’s experiences are infused with 21st century security technologies—some real, some imagined.

Bustamante will develop her artworks by engaging UCR’s archives of photographs pertaining to The Mexican Revolution. Many of these images have not been cataloged: Bustamante’s research will open up scholarly engagement with UCR’s resources in this area. Queer Lab will facilitate conversation between the artist and the community of feminist scholars at UCR who research The Mexican Revolution: Alicia Arrizón (Professor of Women’s Studies), Devra Weber (Associate Professor of History) and Angelica “Pickels” Camacho (PhD Student, Ethnic Studies). These scholars explore queer, feminist, and indigenous lines of inquiry in their work, and represent just three scholarly voices at UCR exploring the history and the legacies of The Mexican Revolution. UCR will host an afternoon workshop grounded in the research of these scholars, as well events exploring sex/gender and security discourse. Throughout the year we will create opportunities for students to get involved with Bustamante’s project: students may work with the artist on her cinematic installation project, and collaborate with Professor Jennifer Doyle on supporting the production of the exhibition itself. Bustamante and Doyle will work with KCET’s Artbound to share the development of this project with the regional public.

Our aim is to support conversation about gender, race, violence and vulnerability. At a time when students are rightly concerned about sexual violence on and around the college campus, and at a time when black and brown people are at a particular risk of violence legitimized by lynch-logics, it is important that we think carefully about what it means to make a body “safe,” and how we might resist the discourses of security that are mobilized against us.

In the 2015 Winter quarter, Professor Doyle will teach a course on Nao Bustamante’s work, and in the winter and spring, she will offer courses on gender, violence and resistance (through the English Department and through the LGBS Minor). Professor Doyle is currently completing a short book on sex, violence and campus security. This project is being anchored by Queer Lab and The Vincent Price Art Museum, with additional support provided by a range of Departments at UC Riverside (including Ethnic Studies, Theater, and Media and Cultural Studies). To get involved, email Jennifer Doyle.

The artist checks to see how well the Kevlar dress works as a shield against weapons used during The Mexican Revolution.

Tierra y Libertad: Nao Bustamante checks to see how well the Kevlar dress works as a shield against weapons used during The Mexican Revolution.

Queer Lab Events in May

Monday, May 19

Nao Bustamante

2014-2015 Queer Lab Artist-in-Residence

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LOCATION: INTS 1113 1:30-3:00 

Join us as artist Nao Bustamante introduces Tierra y Libertad, a performance-based research project exploring the experiences of women fighting on the front lines of The Mexican Revolution. She will be in conversation with UCR Professor Jennifer Doyle; the two will discuss the artist’s upcoming work with UCR’s archives in this exhibition project for The Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles (scheduled for spring 2015). In 2014-2015, Bustamante and Doyle hope to collaborate with UCR students in realizing diverse elements of this exhibition project. Come meet the artist and learn about the different ways that students can get involved!

Nao Bustamante is an internationally known artist, originally from California; she now resides in upstate New York. Bustamante’s work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. The New York Times reports, “She has a knack for using her body.” She has exhibited, among other locales, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sundance International Film Festival, Outfest International Film Festival, El Museo del Barrio and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. In 2001 she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship and in 2007 named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, as well as a Lambent Fellow. 2010 she was an unlikely contestant on TV network, Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.” (An appearance which must be understood in the context of her commitment as a performance artist to “penetrating the television bubble” and making media her medium.) Bustamante is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, New Genres program and the Skowhegen School of Painting and Sculpture as a Video Fellow. She is Associate Professor of New Media and Live Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Professor Bustamante was the Artist-in-Residence at the convention of the American Studies Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2012. In 2013, she was also a featured artist at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Tuesday, May 20

 Dynasty Handbag

Artist Jibz Cameron presents her work as queer performance art legend Dynasty Handbag

Dynasty Handbag

LOCATION: INTS 1128 3:00-4:45

ARTIST BIO

Jibz Cameron is a performance/video artist and actor who lives and works in New York City. Her work as alter ego Dynasty Handbag has been seen such Institutions as The New Museum NY, The Kitchen, DTW, MOMA PS1, Joe’s Pub, PS122, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MOCAtv, OUTFEST, SXSW Film Festival and Performa ’07, ’09, ’11 and many international dives both great and small. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “the funniest and most pitch perfect performance seen in years” and “crackpot genius” by the Village Voice. In addition to her work as Dynasty Handbag she has also been seen acting in work by The Wooster Group, Theater of the 2 Headed Calf, Kalup Linzy, Susan Lori-Parks, and Jennifer Miller among others. She is an adjunct professor of Performance and Theater studies at TISCH NYU. She is currently working on a new evening length Dynasty Handbag piece Soggy Glasses, based on Homer’s Odyssey. 

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Thursday, May 22

Humanities 2212 4:30pm-6pm

Raquel Gutiérrez & Félix Solano Vargas (UCR, ’11)

Raquel Gutiérrez and Félix Solano Vargas will read from

Breaking Up with Los Angeles and Crunchy Eggs

and talk DIY publication and ECONO TEXTUAL OBJECTS

co-presented by the LGBIT Studies Minor and the English Department

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Student Research Conference in Queer Studies at Cal State LA: CFP

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES

CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF GENDERS AND SEXUALITIES

10TH Annual Gender, Sexuality, and Power Student Research Conference May 13, 2014

Keynote Speaker: Lauren Berlant, Professor of English, University of Chicago

The Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (CSGS) at California State University, Los Angeles invites paper proposals for our annual student research conference to be held on May 13, 2014. This is a one-day, interdisciplinary conference inclusive of graduate and undergraduate work in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences that addresses issues of gender and sexuality. We welcome papers from students of literature, history, political science, ethnic studies, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, women’s and gender studies, queer theory, criminology, psychology, law, business, biology, art history, communications, and the performing arts. We are particularly interested in work that takes an interdisciplinary approach and in work that considers gender and sexuality’s intersections with matters of race, ethnicity, disability, nation, class, and religion. Students whose papers are accepted will later be invited to submit full-length versions of their work to be considered for publication in CSGS’s new online journal, GenderSexions. Note: We have small stipends available to support travel for students with outstanding proposals.

Instructions for applying:

Send abstracts of 250 words or less (and please include a title) to Eddy Alcantar, Center Coordinator, at csgsonline@gmail.com no later than 5PM on Friday, March 14th.  Please include at the top of your abstract your name, your contact information (email address), your program of study, the title of your paper, and your institutional affiliation. When you email your proposal, please place in the subject line your first and last name followed by “Paper Proposal”

Example: Chris Smith Paper Proposal

Notifications of acceptance will be sent shortly after the deadline. Submitters are encouraged to be explicit about how their work engages issues of gender and sexuality and about how the work constitutes an original intervention in their field(s). For more information about the conference or about The Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities, contact: Eddy Alcantar, Coordinator, Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities: csgsonline [at] gmail.com or Benjamin Bateman, Director, Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities: rbatem [at] calstatela.edu

You can also visit (like and follow) csgsonline.org, and facebook.com/csgsonline.

This conference is supported by The Cross Cultural Centers, The American Communities Program, and the Department of English at Cal State Los Angeles.

Black Performance and the Archive

an Experimental Dialogue about Sexuality, Blackness, and the Archival

Featuring Uri McMillan, David Green, and Kai Green

Thursday, January 16 4:00 p.m.

English Department Conference Room, HMNSS 2212

Undisciplined Encounters is a series of experimental exchanges that seeks to extend conversations on race, power, critical gender and sexuality studies, and settler colonialism. Undisciplined Encounters is designed as a set of engagements between departments, between modes of thought, and between practices of resistance and social change. It is sponsored by Sponsored by the Departments of English, Ethnic Studies, and Media Studies as well as Queer Lab.

Uri McMillan is is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles where he teaches courses on twentieth-century African American literatures, queer literatures and culture, and disability narratives. He is the author of Embodied Avatars: The Art of Black Female Performance, which will be released on the Sexual Cultures series of NYU Press in late 2014.

David B. Green Jr. is a PhD Candidate in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. A trans-disciplinary Black Studies intellectual, his research situates the lives and cultural labors of Black LGBT identified artists and activists within larger histories of African American freedom struggles. His dissertation, Out of this Confusion I Bring My Heart: Love, Liberation, and The Rise of Black LGBT Cultural Politics in Late Twentieth Century America, illuminates the various ways that Black LGBT artist-activists imagine a politics of liberation through discourses of love.

Kai Green is a feminist writer, scholar, poet, filmmaker, abolitionist. He examines questions of gendered and racialized violence in his art and scholarship. His film, “It Gets Messy in Here,” examines the lives of transgender men and masculine identified women of color and their bathroom experiences. Green is a PhD candidate in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, where he is completing his dissertation, “Into the Darkness: A Black Queer (Re)Membering of Los Angeles in a Time of Crises.”

in memory of José Muñoz

Professor Keith Harris, teaching Muñoz's work to UCR students.

Professor Keith Harris, teaching Muñoz’s work to UCR students.

In a video honoring UCR’s history of advocating for queer students and queer studies, we see Professor Keith Harris write José Muñoz’s name on the board, and the title of his second book, Cruising Utopia. José Muñoz’s thought has been a part of our scholarship and teaching for a long time. The numbers of faculty who have worked with him, who knew him as a friend, colleague and as a mentor – this is no small part of our college’s community. It too much to write a sentence communicating the terrible news that he is gone.

José Muñoz came to UCR this past spring; earlier in the year our students read the whole of Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics in an LGBS seminar inspired by that book, a seminar driven by the performative genius of Sylvester, Vaginal Davis, Nao Bustamante, Jack Smith and Alice Bag. During his UCR visit he shared his work on the sense of brown; he spoke the next day from the same project at Cal State Los Angeles. Two powerful, deeply moving lectures. His work is so important; he was a profoundly dedicated teacher and scholar who lived for and loved his work. Below is a recording of a lecture José Muñoz gave at Duke (on “The Sense of Brown”), with a beautiful introduction by Sharon Holland.

Students sometimes ask me what it was like to be a student at Duke during those heady years in the early 1990s. I talk less to them about Eve Sedgwick and the incredible faculty there, and mostly about José, about being a part of a very intense conversation that was often initiated by him. About learning to initiate those conversations as a part of our friendship – about opening spaces up for each other. This would, I think, be just how Eve would talk about those years too.

Worlds are made by the people sitting right next to you.

Our hearts go out to his colleagues, students and friends.

Jennifer Doyle

October Events

October 29

Queer Lab presents Queer Choreography

“On RIRE / LAUGH / LACHEN”

Antonia Baehr, performance artist
Berlin, Germany

4:15 Dance Studio Theatre, ATHD 102 (Athletics and Dance Building)

Antonia Baehr’s work speaks to genderqueer performance, modes of being in the work – and to the transdisciplinary aspects of genderqueer performance.

October 17

Queer Lab recommends Professor Amelia Jones on Performance & ‘Relationality’ in the 1970s

back-to-you

Arts 335 at 5:10pm

Amelia Jones practices a queer, anti-racist, feminist history and theory of twentieth- and twenty-first century Euro-American visual arts, including performance, film, video, and installation—articulated in relation to increasingly global frameworks. She has authored a number of important interventions in Art History, including Body Art/Performing the Subject (1998), Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada(1994),  Self-Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject (2006) and, most recently, Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012)

Ask QUEER LAB to make things happen!

If you are a UCR graduate student or faculty member working in queer studies and you want to make something happen, if you work at a neighboring institution and want to collaborate, email Jennifer Doyle and ask for Queer Lab co-sponsorship.

Queer Lab will co-sponsor speakers or film screenings with grants of up to $500. (Larger requests may be considered, depending on the scale of your event.) The event must make sense within Queer Lab’s promise to support queer studies on campus – meaning: these events should forward our work as students and scholars. Events sponsored last year included scholarly lectures, artist’s talks, a drag workshop (connected to an LGBIT minor seminar), film screenings and performance art.

Queer Lab’s mission is to help forward queer studies especially within our areas of strength – to name a few – Black Studies, Latina/o Studies, explorations of the decolonial, scholarly work on the Prison/Industrial complex, American Studies, Public Humanities scholarship, visual and performance studies, indigenous studies, experimental and independent media, archive studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Performance Studies, Movement/Dance, the practice of criticism (creative non-fiction, performative writing, criticism within new media formats). Queer work shapes all of those fields of inquiry.

Accepting Queer Lab sponsorship comes with some commitments – a commitment to support the work of scholars in the field by attending their events, and by participating in the minor in LGBIT Studies, for example. Ideally, the audience attending Queer Lab events should migrate across disciplines.

Send your proposal by email to Jennifer Doyle at UCR.

In your request, describe your event, when you would like it to happen, its overall budget, its contribution to queer studies at UCR, and identify co-sponsors (co-sponsors are mandatory).

Deadlines:

October 15 for Fall 2013

December 1 for Winter 2013

March 1 for Spring 2013

Please note: Queer Lab is centered on scholarship/research in sexuality studies. Events supporting LGBIT life on campus are usually sponsored by the LGBT Resource Center. Sometimes our projects overlap.

July 10 in Los Angeles: Ron Athey’s Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains

Messianic Remains 2013
performance starts at 9PM 
tickets $20 suggested donation
at Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home St, LA CA 90012 

“Messianic Remains” is the fourth installation in Ron Athey’s series of performances, “Incorruptible Flesh.” This performance continues Athey’s exploration of the continuation of his own post-AIDS body. Previous installments were done in collaboration with the late Lawrence Steger (who died of AIDS in 1999), and in the new millennium with London-based artist Dominic Johnson. Between 1996 and 2007, performances have been staged in Glasgow, at the Chelsea Theatre in London, and at the funerals of Leigh Bowery in New York and Amsterdam. As in earlier works in the series, Athey rides the grandiose myth of enlightenment that only the face of death may reveal.

This event is sponsored in part by Queer Lab: in 2009, Ron Athey led a performance workshop for artists in Riverside and collaborated with Julie Tolentino on a performance program that included Zackary Drucker and Heather Cassils. That project was organized by UCR Professor (and member of HR’s collective) Jennifer Doyle, who has since published a book featuring writing about Athey’s practice and its importance. You can listen here to an interview between Ron Athey and Jennifer Doyle via the Sweeney Gallery archive. Later this month, Doyle will host a conversation about Athey’s work – look for details about that event here, and on HRLA’s website (http://humanresourcesla.com/).

More Ron Athey in Los Angeles: July 14 2pm, book launch for Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performance of Ron Athey at Redcat, thanks to OUTFEST!

Summer 2013: Recommendations

June 1 – Opening of Geographies of Detention at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside: panel discussion at 6pm

June 2 – INSTALL:WeHo presents “Good Queer” – pop-up exhibition and performances in West Hollywood

June 21 & 22  – Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother (2009): film at the Culver Arts Center in Riverside

June 23 – Do With Me What You Will: Sheree Rose & Martin O’Brien in a 24-hour performance at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles

July 6 – Conversation with Sheree Rose, Martin O’Brien about their experience, hosted by Jennifer Doyle. Contact info@humanresourcesla.com for more info

July 7 – Antebellum Gallery presents Anglicised Fetish Tea Salon with Lisa Teasley, Ron Athey and more. $15/cover. 1643 N Las Palmas, LA CA 90028 4pm-7pm

July 10 – Queer Lab presents Ron Athey at Human Resources in Los Angeles

July 11-21 – Outfest: Los Angeles LGBT Cinema Festival

July 14 – Book Launch for Ron Athey’s Pleading in the Blood at Redcat in Los Angeles

July 20 – Rafa Esparza at Human Resources in Los Angeles

David Wojnarowicz & Ben Neill: In the Shadow of Forward Motion

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Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 at the Hammer Museum

On Thursday May 23, the Hammer Museum at UCLA is hosting a screening of ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion), a collaboration between David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill. ITSOFOMO was originally staged as a live performance in which Wojnarowicz read his work alongside multi-channel projections of his film while Ben Neill performed an original score for his mutantrumpet, along with live percussion and computer controlled electronics. For this event, the Hammer Museum is hosting a four channel projection accompanied by Neill’s soundtrack (music, noise and Wojnarowicz’s readings). This screening is a rare event – an occasion to remember the multi-disciplinary and collaborative side of Wojnarowicz’s practice as an artist.

Cynthia Carr and Jennifer Doyle will introduce ITSOFOMO with a conversation intended to orient the viewer in relation to this rarely screened work.

Carr is the author of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz; Doyle is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art. Wonderfully, Ben Neill will be on hand as well. The screening will be followed by a book signing and reception – organized to facilitate conversation between Carr, Doyle, Neill and audience members who want to talk over their experience of this work and ask questions.

Cynthia Carr was a columnist and arts reporter for the Village Voice from 1984 to 2003. Writing under the byline C. Carr, she specialized in experimental and cutting-edge art, especially performance art. Some of these pieces are now collected in On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. She is also the author of Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Bookforum, Modern Painters, the Drama Review, and other publications. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. Carr lives in New York.

“[Fire in the Belly is] unimprovable as a biography–thorough, measured, beautifully written, loving but not uncritical — as a concentrated history of his times, and as a memorial, presenting him in his entirety, twenty years dead but his ardor uncooled.”—Luc Sante, Bookforum

Jennifer Doyle is Professor of English at UC Riverside. She is Co-Chair of the Minor in LGBIT Studies and Director of Queer Lab. She is the author of Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire, and Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, the last chapter of which is devoted to a reading of Wojnarowicz’s portraits of Peter Hujar.

“Hold It Against Me is forceful and memorable. Jennifer Doyle thinks about difficult art in a way that refreshes its historical impact; she also revitalizes what criticism can do to extend the event that its objects have been to new ethical, political, and aesthetic domains.”—Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism

Ben Neill is a composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. He has been called “a creative composer and genius performer” (Time Out NY). “the mad scientist of dancefloor jazz” (CMJ Journal), and “a musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” (Time Out London). Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz and minimalism, blurring the lines between DJ culture and acoustic instrument performance.

Neill has recorded nine CDs of his music on the Universal/Verve, Thirsty Ear, Astralwerks, Six Degrees, Ramseur, New Tone and Ear-Rational labels. His music has also been featured on numerous compilations including Wired Magazine’s Music Futurists. In 2010 his music theater work Persephone was presented at the BAM Next Wave Festival. The recording Songs for Persephone with Mimi Goese which is made up of the music from the theatrical production was released in 2011 on Ramseur Records to critical acclaim. He has performed extensively in a wide variety of international settings including Lincoln Center, Cite de la Musique France, Moogfest, Berlin Love Parade Germany, Spoleto Festival Italy, Umbria Jazz Italy, Sleepless Night Miami, NIME Conferences Vancouver and Paris, Bang On A Can Festival New York, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival Turkey and the Edinburgh Festival UK to name a few.

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