Chris E. Vargas: Video and Museum Maker

Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 8:00 pm
Downtown Independent

251 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Extraordinary Pregnancies, video, 10min, 2010
Have You Ever Seen a Transsexual Before?, video, 4min., 201
Liberacéon, digital video, 16min., 2011
Falling in Love… With Chris and Greg: "Work of Art Reality TV Special" (with Greg Youmans), digital video, 14min., 2014
ONE for all…, digital video, 7min., 2012
Cry Boy Cry, digital video, 5min., 2012
Valencia (with Greg Youmans), HD video, 6min., 2013
Falling in Love… with Chris and Greg: A Special Holiday Message (with Greg Youmans), video 6min., 2012
MOTHA: Introduction, video, 5min., 2014
Sashay Away, HD video, 8min., 2015 - 2017

Dirty Looks presents the first-ever West Coast survey of early work by Chris E. Vargas, trans organizer, artist and activist. Perhaps best known as the founder of the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art, a nebulous “museum” that proliferates information, presentations and exhibitions across North America, or as one half of the collaborative web series with Greg Youmans, Falling in Love … with Chris and Greg, a sitcom about a queer odd couple—one liberal, one radical; one transgender, one not—Vargas has produced a body of work that is politically subversive, culturally acute and utterly hysterical. From Angelina Jolie to the first pregnant man, Liberace to RuPaul, these works challenge the homonormative, queering pop culture and rewriting some of LGBTQ hirstories messier lessons in slightly less closet-y light.

Chris E. Vargas is a video-maker and interdisciplinary artist originally from Los Angeles and currently based in Bellingham, WA. From 2008 to 2013, Vargas collaborated with Greg Youmans to make the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love . . . with Chris and Greg. With Eric Stanley, he co-directed the short film Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2015), which have screened at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; LACE, Los Angeles; Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow; the New Museum; and other venues. He is the executive director of the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA), a conceptual arts and hirstory institution that highlights trans art’s contributions to the cultural and political landscape. Iterations of MOTHA have been presented at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2013).