rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
Trashing Performance

Films - Trashing Tate

30 October 2011

Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium

Trashing Tate included a series of curated film screenings at Tate Modern of rare archival material documenting drag performance in New York City and feminist performance in Europe, and programmes exploring trash performance in the Americas, including the legacy of the Kuchar brothers.  


introduced by Joe E. Jeffreys and Bettina Knaup

Drag Show Video Vérité & Re.Act Feminism: Works from the archives 

This programme featured rarely seen film and video documentation of performance from archival projects in Europe and the USA. Drag Show Video Vérité offers a wild mash up of 50 plus years of rare footage of the New York drag show, capturing the faces and places, past and present, famous and forgotten, of the city's vibrant male and female impersonation scenes. Re.act.feminism # 2 – a performing archive is a travelling archive of gender-critical, feminist and queer performance art from the 1960s to the 1980s, as well as today. The screening presented rarely seen works, ranging from hairy beauty queens, pregnant male TV moderators to aging drag kings.


Man Up, Two Examples of Transfiguration
curated by Inti Guerrero

Man Up, Two Examples of Transfiguration brought together two geographically and temporally distant cinematic realms dealing in a witty and bizarre manner with sexual and social normatizations. Transgender theoretician Susan Stryker presented Tony Cayado’s We Who Are Sexy (Kaming Mga Talyada, 1962), an obscure camp archival treasure from the Philippines featuring U.S. transsexual celebrity Christine Jorgensen, who was then performing an extended run at a Manila nightclub. The zany plot, revolving around seven gender-bent siblings, zig-zags between genres as well as genders, swerving between romantic comedy, musical and war story. Jorgensen turns out to be the straightest part of this incredibly queer movie.

The programme continues with the first of the four-part Nigerian film 666 by director and pastor Kenneth Okonkwo, reflecting the trashy, extreme low budget soap opera aesthetics and religious fanaticism that have become the field of representation for extreme homophobia in many parts of contemporary Africa.


George Kuchar

curated by Marc Siegel & Stuart Comer

‘The head, heart, and hairy area below the stomach is what should be stimulated at the cinema.' –George Kuchar

This tribute to George Kuchar, a towering figure in American underground cinema who passed away in August 2011, featured films spanning his career and his collaboration with Curt McDowell.
With his twin brother Mike, Kuchar produced a prodigious body of Super-8 and 16-mm films in the 1960s and 1970s — idiosyncratic narrative psychodramas and pop cultural parodies that are charged with perverse humor and became a major influence on younger filmmakers such as John Waters. In the mid-1980s, Kuchar acquired an 8-mm camcorder and began producing an extraordinary series of video diaries, chronicling a singular, ongoing personal history. Exhibiting the rawness of video verité and the theatricality of fiction, his self- narrated tapes record close-up observations of the personal routines and social interactions of Kuchar's daily life.

See more info at Tate

For other Trashing Performance Shows and Talks click on the left hand menu