We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work is a group exhibition created by, and in celebration of, sex workers. Curated by Maxine Holloway and Javier Luis Hurtado, We’re Still Working is the second exhibition in the 2016–2017 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency. This multidisciplinary exhibition encourages viewers to challenge dominant narratives about sex workers.
The We’re Still Working Project is teaming up with Failed Films to bring you an evening of film made by and in celebration of sex workers. Failed Films recently took the Bay Area by storm during the debut of its quarterly underground art event. Focusing on the film, installation, and performance typically rejected by formal galleries, Failed Films seeks to provide resources and an audience for local artists with a wonderfully perverted approach.
On Friday, February 17, 6–9pm, We’re Still Working and Failed Films bring to the SOMArts Main Gallery an offering of films that highlight and value the perspectives of sex workers.
About the Filmmakers:
Logout (They/She) is a Filmmaker, Hacker and Total Twit that works with in the mediums of Video, Sound, Performance and Installation. They are from another planet and the middle of no where Texas currently based in New Orleans. Their work is unapologetically Southern and Black. And now to codeswitch for you artfucks- Logout’s work stems deeply from their southern roots focusing on perceived and projected identities. Using intimate subject matter as their central narrative they explore the perceptions and projections of the Queer Black body and psyche. Currently Logout is in the pre production stages of a new short film as well as working on music videos and fronting a No Wave band called Special Interest. In Lucid Noon Sunset Blush, 17-year-old bb gay Micha has just moved into The Palace – a basement full of queer femme sex workers, lovers and misfits. They are beautiful, carefree and as young as the night.
Marcelle Marais/Princess VuVu is a multi-faceted artist working in the mediums of film, performance, music and installation. She has exhibited and performed internationally in galleries and on highly trafficked railway lines, on rooftops, in bank parking lots, toxic waste dumps and neighborhood churches, in retail store windows and state parks, on highways and in subway stations. A renegade at heart, her passion is for the extreme balanced by finesse. Her work is provocative, demonic, psychologically enthralling, ethereal and confrontational. Her creations have explored a vast range of topics from power dynamics and cycles of abuse in domestic relations, gender dynamics and cultural oppression, psychological transference of memories in the nuclear family, witchcraft and the empowerment of women through ritual, sex-work and the navigation of boundaries, and psychological exorcisms. Shot on Super8 film, Las Bonitas explores the imminent need and psychological pains of thirsting through desire. Three feminine beings bound by the blood of companionship summon their prey through the macabre and erotic tunnels of their minds. Invested in the common necessity of survival they meet their prey in violent and perverse encounters extracting the life force which momentarily allays their desires.
With niche needs of her own, Ingrid Mouth has always been fascinated
by how fetishes develop, and by especially esoteric incidents of
attraction. Shortly after her foray into sex work, Mouth planned the
ABCs of Fetish both as a creative exercise to help her learn to film
and edit, and as a sometimes humorous celebration of the variety and
unique specificity of sexual expression within the world of fetish.
Arabelle Raphael is an Iranian French adult actress, producer and director. As a performer in the industry for six years, she has been nominated for multiple Adult Video Network awards. Arabelle advocates for sex worker rights and education. She has presented at several colleges as well as the Feminist Porn Conference to speak out against sex work stigma. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and cats. Raphael’s film La Nuisance is an experimental film based on identity as well as the patterns often found in relationships between queer femme sex workers. Diving into her own personal history Arabelle Raphael gives the audience a glimpse into a world of femme angst, love, idealization and rejection.
About Failed Films
Failed Films turns its back on the same old polite gallery conversation to raucously cheer an under-appreciated enclave of artists whose raw and daring works will shake your perception of what art can be. Founded by Chris Gates, Grace Mendenhall, and Jonah Strauss, this underground quarterly art event showcases the film, installation, and performance often labeled ‘too obscene’ and unsupported by the rapidly changing Bay Area art scene. The mission of Failed Films is to provide support, resources, and an audience for local artists with a wonderfully perverted approach.
WE’RE STILL WORKING
Aida Lizalde in collaboration with Julius Caesar
Ana Quintanilla in collaboration with Sthefany Galante Bautista & Lluvia Chávez
Chucha Marquez & Gina de Vries in collaboration with youth from LYRIC LGBTQ Center
Emmet Logan in collaboration with Kalash Ka
Grace Mendenhall in collaboration with Juliette Stray
Jacq the Stripper
Lyric Seal aka Neve Be
Shae Rayder Walsh
We’re Still Working Community Partners
St. James Infirmary
El/La Trans Latinas
LYRIC Youth Center
Exhibition on view January 27–February 25, 2017
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm
Thursday, January 26, 6–9pm
The opening night celebration features performance activations of artworks by Arabelle Raphael, Joseph Liatela, and LYRIC LGBTQ Youth Center.
Sex Worker Health Panel: An LGBTQ Youth Perspective
Saturday, January 4, 1–4pm
Presented in collaboration with LYRIC Youth Center’s SWAG, the panel features Alix Lutnick and young people who have artwork in the We’re Still Working exhibition. The panel will highlight the necessity of centering young people’s voices and expertise when advocating for sex worker justice.
Image credit:”Hi There,” Image courtesy of Failed Films.