The Dirty Looks: On Location Los Angeles curatorial team.
PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA
Dirty Looks, the queer art/film-centric nonprofit, will bring together ten curators and three organizations to collaborate on the curatorial programming for its month-long series of queer film screenings,“Dirty Looks: On Location, which will begin July 1 in Los Angeles and take place at various venues across the city. The full curatorial team is as follows: Marvin Astorga + Young Joon Kwak, Bret Berg, Coaxial Arts Foundation, Raquel Gutiérrez, Suzy Halajian, Darin Klein, Ryan Linkof, Massive, Nacho Nava, Bradford Nordeen, Joe Rubin, and the Women’s Center for Creative Work.
“What’s most exciting about On Location, as opposed to the year-round programming, is that it is this platform for a real amplification of a multitude of queer voices,” Nordeen told ARTnews by phone. “There is no one scene.”
Astorga and Kwak are artists who collaborate together on Mutant Salon, a roving queer performance series, and as an experimental music duo Xina Xurner; their work has been staged at REDCAT, the Hammer Museum, the Broad, and Commonwealth & Council, among other venues. Berg is a sales director for the American Genre Film Archive and education director of the lecture series the Voyager Institute. The Coaxial Arts Foundation is an L.A.-based nonprofit that provides exhibition space, residencies, and support for performance, sound, and experimental media works.
Gutiérrez is a writer and founder of a small press Econo Text Objects, which publishes work by queer people of color. Halajian is a writer and curator who has organized shows for LACE, the Hammer Museum, and Human Resources LA, among others. Klein is associate director of events and programs at the Broad and previously held positions at the Hammer and Skylight Books, a bookstore that focuses on small press publications. Linkof is an associate curator at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and was previously an assistant curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Massive is a lifestyle brand founded by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins that focuses on bringing queer and feminist art, comics, and fashion from Japan to the States. Nava is a producer of live shows and parties, best known for his freewheeling L.A. party, Mustache. Nordeen is the founder of Dirty Looks, and has programmed for the queer film festival Outfest Los Angeles and served as a guest curator for the Broad’s inaugural public programs. Rubin is a film archivist who cofounded the distribution company Vinegar Syndrome and collaborated with Dirty Looks for its “Session Continua” program. The Women’s Center for Creative Work is a nonprofit that works to bring visibility to feminist art practices across L.A.
Dirty Looks announced last November that it would be moving On Location for this edition to Los Angeles, after three iterations in New York. Nordeen said that L.A.’s sprawling geography changed the way the series was organized. “With On Location in New York, we were very Manhattan-centric, and you don’t have a central space like that in Los Angeles,” he said. “In a way, it’s freeing” because “On Location grants people license to go into spaces that they won’t normally go into.” Nordeen added that he hopes this iteration of On Location will have the same effect as previous editions had of “different communities talking to each other and coming together.”
The full program for On Location will be announced in June. In a first for the program, it will have a curatorial advisory committee, which this time includes Ron Athey, Vaginal Davis, Jennifer Doyle, and Lanka Tattersall. Nordeen said he was particularly excited to work with Athey and Davis, who were longtime contributors to L.A. Weekly since the 1980s. “They know the queer underground of this city like the back of their hands—they wrote the queer underground of the city,” Nordeen said.
And it’s important to remember that On Location isn’t just a film festival, Nordeen added. “The important thing about On Location is that it’s not just film screenings, but it’s this immersive experience of the city and time-based art,” he said. “It’s a spatial invasion, if you will.”