As transgender issues, artists, and theory have received greater recognition in contemporary art discourses and institutions since the 2000s, activist Reina Gossett and art historian Jeannine Tang will discuss the role of art and artists in recent movement building and how contemporary art figures in critical trans politics today. This will feature a screening of the film Criminal Queers (2012), followed by a conversation with filmmakers Eric A. Stanley and Chris Vargas.
Criminal Queers visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls. Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation. By expropriating the “prison break” genre, the question of form and content collapses into a rhythm of affective histories as images of possibility materialize even after possibility itself is foreclosed. Follow Yoshi, Joy, Susan, and Lucy as they fiercely read everything from the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes legislation to the non-profitization of social movements. Criminal Queers grows our collective liberation by working to abolish the multiple ways our hearts, genders, and desires are confined.
This event is supported by the New Museum, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. A parallel conversation on recent organizing and movement building will be hosted by Sylvia Rivera Law Project on Friday June 8 at 6 p.m.