PRIDE at the Fowler: Archiving Gay History
June 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm PDT
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The Fowler Museum, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and ONE Archives at USC are proud to co-present a program in honor of Pride, focusing on the work of contemporary artist Sadie Barnette and filmmaker Whitney Skauge at the intersection of art, archives, and anti-erasure efforts. Recent celebrated projects by Barnette and Skauge feature archival content about the lives of two gay Black activists—the 1992 presidential candidate Terence Alan Smith, aka Joan Jett Blakk, and Black Panther Party member Rodney Barnette, who established the first Black-owned gay bar in San Francisco—who fought against political oppression and advocated for the safety of their community at the height of the AIDS crisis in the early 90s.
Join us in the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Virtual Screening Room for a viewing of The Beauty President (dir. Skauge) and a presentation by Barnette; followed by a conversation, moderated by the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s K.J. Relth-Miller, about the capacity of contemporary art to breathe new life into archival content; how to deal with what’s missing from and the limits of existing archives; and the power of images to undo the lies of history.
Sadie Barnette’s multimedia practice illuminates her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the US. Barnette has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from UC San Diego. Her work is in permanent collections of LACMA, Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Guggenheim Museum. Her permanent, site-specific commission at LAX International Airport will open in 2024. Barnette lives and works in Oakland, CA and is represented by Jessica Silverman.
Faridah Gbadamosi is the Artistic Director of Outfest, one of the only global LGBTQIA+ arts, media, and entertainment organizations empowering artists, communities, and filmmakers to transform the world through their stories. Gbadamosi oversees the year-round artistic vision for the organization’s many programs, including the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender moving images at risk of becoming lost due to deterioration and neglect.
Alexis Bard Johnson is the curator at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries. She oversees the exhibitions and programs at one of the largest repositories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials in the world. Johnson earned her PhD in Art History with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stanford University. Before joining ONE, Johnson worked at the Princeton Art Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
K.J. Relth-Miller has been a film programmer with the UCLA Film & Television Archive since 2016, increasing the visibility of female-identifying filmmakers through public exhibitions of genre-spanning works. A unit of the UCLA Library, the Archive is renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve, and showcase moving image media. Relth-Miller is also an adjunct professor in the department of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts, where she teaches “Film Today,” a survey of contemporary films from recent international festivals.
Whitney Skauge is an award-winning filmmaker dedicated to diverse storytelling and representation. They are vice president of development at two-time Oscar-nominated Breakwater Studios, dedicated to the craft of the short documentary. Skauge’s debut short film The Beauty President (2020), produced by Breakwater Studios, premiered at SXSW and was distributed by LA Times Short Docs in 2021. Skauge’s films act as an extension of social and political activism with hopes of helping audiences understand themselves and the world around them better.
PRIDE at the Fowler: The Fowler is continuing its history of supporting social justice by joining the worldwide celebration of Pride Month, which promotes the dignity, equality, self-affirmation, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Image: Installation view of Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon, The Kitchen, New York, January 18, 2022–March 5, 2022. Photo: Adam Reich