Yesterday Once More

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 8:30 pm
White Columns

320 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014

-Filmmakers Matt Wolf + Mariah Garnett in person-


Matt Wolf, I Remember: A film about Joe Brainard, video, 23 min., 2012
Zackary Drucker, At Least You Know You Exist, 16mm on DV, 15 min., 2011
Mariah Garnett, Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin, 16mm, 15min., 2012
Chris E. Vargas, Liberaceón, video, 13min., 2011

Dirty Looks is thrilled to present Yesterday Once More, a program of queer moving image portraits from the last two years. Documenting four figures who helped to shape and define a public image of queer life (Peter Berlin, Joe Brainard, Liberace and Flawless Sabrina), each filmmaker in Yesterday Once More approaches their subject with the weight of their historical distance and a panache for contemporary performativity.

Filmmaker Matt Wolf returns to Joe Brainard's iconic poem, I Remember in his film I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard. His archival montage combines audio recordings of Brainard reading from the poem, as well as an interview with his lifelong friend and collaborator, the poet Ron Padgett. The result is an inventive biography of Joe Brainard, and an elliptical dialog about friendship, nostalgia, and the strange wonders of memory

Created inside an archeology of the Uptown apartment that legendary queen Mother Flawless Sabrina has inhabited since 1967, At Least You Know You Exist, is a site-specific exploration of a fixed space where everything is in a state of change. Totemic mystical objects act as an index, a collection of mysterious sculptures in different states of mutation, and rich layers of feverish history interface with a new vision of transgender.

Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin deals primarily with monumentality, narcissism and the ways in which our heroes are embedded into our identities, and manifested through the body. Through a variety of gestures, Mariah Garnett highlights the pervasiveness of this practice alongside its ultimate, inevitable failure. The viewer moves through various stages of anxiety, idolization and actual touchdown with 70's gay sex icon Peter Berlin himself, capturing both the apparent and the hidden. The film guides the viewer through the process of making contact with a figure who exists only in his own photographs.

Liberaceón renarrates portions of the biography of Liberace—the flamboyant, yet closeted, apolitical pop pianist who died in 1987—in order to insert him into a queer history of radical AIDS/HIV activism. Narrative details from his life are reworked and embellished to tell a mythic origin story of the in/famous direct-action group, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).