I was honored to serve as film consultant for the Queer California: Untold Stories exhibition, which is on view at the Oakland Museum of California from April 13 to August 11. The entire show is fantastic, and among the extraordinary range of artworks and historical artifacts on display are a number of media works looped in the galleries as well as a rotating screening series.
I don’t want to overstate my role: as a consultant I provided a list of titles for possible inclusion to curator Christina Linden, who made the final selections. But I was thrilled to see that many of the works I championed made the cut, including quite a few that relate to my research project on 1970s queer cinema in the Bay Area. Among these are Barbara Hammer’s Dyketactics, the recently departed and sorely missed filmmaker’s breakout film from early in her career; Steven Arnold’s psychedelic fantasia Luminous Procuress, featuring the Cockettes; rare video preinterviews from the Mariposa Film Group’s groundbreaking interview film Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives; and a beautiful new transfer of Iris Films’ rarely seen classic In the Best Interests of the Children, which was an important intervention in the lesbian custody battles of the late 1970s.
I will be at the museum next month for a special event where I will be joined on stage by media artist and Mellon curatorial fellow S. Topiary Landberg to discuss the film selections and clarify their importance to queer California history.
“In Conversation: Queer Cinema”
Friday, June 14, from 7–8:30 pm, in the museum’s lecture hall