This winter provided its usual set of cold and dreary months, but I was doing everything I could to make the most of it. As is the case with many other artists and musicians, it can be a profound time of creative reckoning -- time for study, workshopping, writing and recalibration. I hope that you, too, have found new and revived sources of imagination and inspiration.
January was the first month that I hosted a newly founded PDF Club, a reading group for photographers and visual artists working in and around Rochester, NY. We have been meeting monthly to discuss various artists and creative practices related to photography and image making, and it stemmed from a desire to maintain thought and dialogue around photography during the snowy months. Given our lack of ability (or willingness, in my case) to be outside of our homes and art studios, this was a space to discuss what it is that draws us to creative image making and to foster critical thought in preparation for new seasons of cultural production. While some of the texts that we discuss are sourced from academic journals and publications, this group was always meant to be accessible to artists of all stripes -- with or without any formal, academic training. As of April 2019, we have moved the meet-up from my home to Small World Books on North Street in Rochester.
In February, my partner and I took a break from our day jobs and imposed upon ourselves an artist retreat of sorts. We spent nearly two weeks in Montreal, and took the time to study and connect with friends and lovers in the area. During this time, I shot lots of photos and test footage for my Lovers I Had and Liked series. This work seeks to explore ideas around queer intimacy, non-monogamy and resistance to assimilation.
Along with personal study and projects, we also had a chance to explore the work of Cree artist Kent Monkman and his alter-ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle. The exhibition has been traveling around Canada, and I would strongly suggest you see it if you have a chance. We were also lucky enough to catch the release party and readings from the newest issue of Crooked Fagazine, a gay print zine for "shameless confessional storytelling" and more. The cover of this issue features work from a recent favorite photographer, Florian Hetz.
In March, my friend Bradford Nordeen brought to Rochester a screening of Rosa von Praunheim's City of Lost Souls, and we had a brilliant time showing it at The Spirit Room. With the partnership of Image Out and Visual Studies Workshop, this provided me with an opportunity to reconnect with queer cinema and the possibilities for bringing this type of work to audiences here in our community. There is a palpable thirst for underground film and alternative queer events in the region, and I wish to continue facilitating these exciting and challenging screenings and exhibitions. I had a great week with Bradford, and was thrilled to catch his other screening of Dirty Looks: Eight Years On at VSW. Check out his tour schedule for upcoming screenings.
In April, I had the opportunity to display three silver gelatin prints as part of my good friend and collaborator's residency exhibition at the Flower City Arts Center. Megan Joy May's Myths of the Sacred Wound was open from throughout the month of April. Working alongside Megan has been a deeply formative step in my collaborative practice, and I extend to her my warmest gratitude and congratulations as she brings together various elements of her identity as an artist for this exhibition.
As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions or thoughts about anything you've read here. Thank you for your interest and support!