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Pleasure Dome is pleased to present the work of queer legends Allyson Mitchell and Steve Reinke. This screening will present a dialogue between the works of these two provocateurs who are no strangers to speaking out. Come drink from the well of forbidden knowledge and let the work guide you through your wildest queer fantasies. We cannot guarantee that you will make a friend, but we can guarantee that the work will provoke many post-screening discussions.
A Boy Needs a Friend (from The Genital is Superfluous: Final Thoughts, Series Four) by Steve Reinke (21:37 min., 2015, video)
Filled with blunt sweetness and nonstop laughs, Reinke continues his intellectual stand-up with his most personal missive to date. He narrates a fantasy about his new husband Brian, who might die while he is away, after which he will be pressed to deliver the eulogy. “I will tell them that I was only ever truly serene when his large beautiful hands covered my small idiot face, fingers against forehead, stopping thought.” A visit to an old men’s club in gay Paris leads him to conclude that corpses “ejaculate dust, like a flower ejaculates pollen.” No sooner does he think about his partner than he conjures his partner’s death. And no sooner does he arrive in Paris – and the reverie of sexual encounter – than death reappears. Below the city, skeletons (“the most elegant part of the body”) are stacked row on row. At a formal concert, ghouls rush into the audience.
Dyke Pussy by Allyson Mitchell (1:00 min., 2008, video)
On a turntable (is the artist turning the tables?), a porcelain cat spins and the electro-beat goes on, urging union.
Assplay (from The Hundred Videos) by Steve Reinke (1:36 min., 1995, video)
This is number 67 of the 100 Videos. With typical subversive wit, Reinke replays moments from Pinocchio’s animated life, using a circular iris to draw attention to the many asses that are displayed, caressed, spanked, slapped and sat upon. It all begins with his master’s voice of course, offering us a psychoanalytic set up that is soothing, hilarious and thoughtful.
Afghanimation by Allyson Mitchell (6:00 min., 2008, 35mm)
This film was commissioned by the CFMDC (Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre) as part of their 40th year anniversary for a touring program called Regeneration, which paired contemporary artists with historical movies from the distributor’s collection. Afghanimation was inspired by the work of iconic Canadian artist Joyce Wieland.
Everybody by Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott (4:06 min., 2009, video)
Jessie did the drawings and wrote the voice-over, while Steve put the drawings into motion and added Madonna and Stockhausen to the soundtrack. Animal avatars talk the talk of desire. The viscera of bodies, the slime and disgust, the inevitable decay, the rotten spots, how to turn all this into attraction and concupiscence?
Candy Kisses by Allyson Mitchell (2:46 min., 1999, 16mm)
Opening with a pair of sticker girls in word-balloon conversation, the artist offers an economical dramaturgy of heartbreak, the conversation conjuring a full range of emotions, self-image, vulnerability, and loss.
Sleep (from The Hundred Videos) by Steve Reinke (2:49 min., 1994, video)
This is number 46 of the 100 Videos. “It takes a true professional of love to ascertain what we really want.” Using a single shot of his lover’s sleeping eye, Reinke starts up yet another interrogation of desire, hoping to slip into the unconscious, to speak of that speechless place which is structured like a language.
Hers is Still a Dank Cave: Crawling Towards a Queer Horizon by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue (24:32 min., 2016, video)
A stunning virtuoso turn from these two partners in life and art. A home movie where the library musings and theory shuffles are re-rooted in domestic space and in relationship. The tape insists that artmaking, and even the utopias it conjures, cannot be separated from the way we love, eat, or wash the dishes. It celebrates the hand-made, the make-shift, the provisional (no more monuments! unless they’re made of cardboard and felt and wool), and everywhere there is ingenious invention. All of this (and more) in generous good humour, particularly when the artists don flesh suits and hoist a giant-sized sharpie to underline their fave utopia reading bits from the oversized texts that surround them.
Synopses by Mike Hoolboom.
A Boy Needs a Friend (from The Genital is Superfluous: Final Thoughts, Series Four) by Steve Reinke
Dyke Pussy by Allyson Mitchell
Everybody by Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott
Afghanimation by Allyson Mitchell
Candy Kisses by Allyson Mitchell
Hers is Still a Dank Cave: Crawling Towards a Queer Horizon by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue