University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Queer Theorist and Filmmaker Gavin Butt to Present Film Screening and Talk

March 19, 2014  by: Dom

Gavin Butt - I wanna be an artist, still

Trashy queer performances from subverted talk shows to glittery magic penises.

Buffalo – The University at Buffalo’s Department of Art, in partnership with New York City’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Squeaky Wheel, and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center presents scholar and artist Gavin Butt, who will speak at Hallwalls on April 16 at 8:00pm. The talk is part of the Leslie-Lohman Queer Art Lecture Series.

The event will open with a screening of part one of the 2013 film “This Is Not A Dream” directed by Gavin Butt and Ben Walters, followed by a talk and Q&A. Butt will also discuss his collaboration with London-based performer Dickie Beau, who is also featured in the film.

According to Butt, the film “focuses on how the video revolution of the 1970s offered unprecedented access to the moving image for artists and performers, and shows the continued impact of this revolution on contemporary art and performance.” Butt explains that the film “charts a path across four decades of avant-garde experiment and radical escapism. It traces the influences of Andy Warhol, John Waters and Jack Smith to the perverted frontiers of YouTube and Chatroulette, taking in subverted talk shows and soap operas, streetwalker fashions and glittery magic penises along the way.”

Part one to be screened at this event comprises interviews with video/installation artist Dara Birnbaum, performance and video artist Nao Bustamante, genderqueer performance artist Vaginal Davis, filmmaker/producer Vincent Fremont, performance artist David Hoyle, video and performance artist Kalup Linzy, and author/film producer Glenn O’Brien, and archival material of video art, artist’s TV shows and video magazines from the 1970s to the 2000s.

Jonathan D. Katz, Director of the University at Buffalo’s Visual Studies PhD program, President of the Leslie-Lohman Museum, and curator of the series, commented “Gavin Butt studies trashy performances with the seriousness of a theorist, the eye of a critic, and the unabashed glee of a fan. He ascends to great heights propelled by the lowest of genres, and he never forgets where he came from and how he got there.”

Butt is Professor and Head of the Visual Cultures and Performance Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK where his work focuses on performance studies, queer studies, and visual culture. He has published extensively in these research areas. “This Is Not A Dream” has been featured at: the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, where it made its world premiere; OutFest Los Angeles, its international  premiere;  Dirty Looks NYC; MIX Copenhagen; GAZE Dublin; among others.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the world’s first museum dedicated solely to providing a venue for multi-disciplinary work that engages gay and lesbian historical, social, or political issues still excluded from mainstream venues.  The Leslie-Lohman Queer Art Lecture Series is dedicated to queer art and artists, showcasing the most significant contemporary queer artists with an emphasis on exploring the relationship between their sexuality and their art. Each of the lectures in the series will also be presented at the Leslie-Lohman Museum located at 26 Wooster Street, NY, NY.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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