Daddy Alan Selby. It’s been nearly a decade since we lost him. At that time, he was working on his autobiography, titled “The Mayor of Folsom Street.” In memorium, this year, that book will finally be published. It’s planned release is December, 2014. On June 6th, an exhibit based of materials from his archive will open at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. In 2015, the archive will move to Chicago, to The Leather Archive and Museum. On Sunday, March 2nd, the project will launch at CSC. A small, informal fundraiser from 5 to 8 pm will feature a short reading from the book, a sneak peak at the exhibit, a silent auction, an open mic of speakers and the launch of the Mayor of Folsom St t-shirt fundraising campaign.
Category Archives: Scholarship
Center for Sex and Culture’s Exhibition Catalog of Safer Sex Posters
The Center for Sex and Culture, located in San Francisco, is publishing an art exhibition catalog on our safer sex poster collection in conjunction with an exhibition displaying these posters at our gallery. The 2-month exhibition opens on November 8, 2013.
Buzz Bense, sex activist and graphic designer, donated over 150 unique posters to CSC last year. Bense has collected and produced safer-sex posters aimed at members of the LGBTQ community since the mid-1980s. Circulated at a time when the community was particularly hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, these posters comprise a striking aesthetic collection of graphically innovative design that explicitly visualizes homosexuality, diverse LGBTQ communities and safer-sex activism.
Because of the cultural and historical significance of the posters, we are inspired to share these images and their story with people in the Bay Area and beyond. It is easy to forget details of recent history, especially when related to sexual history because it is less likely to be preserved. This project aims to preserve and share some of what might easily be lost. The book will contain over 20 color reproductions of posters, an introduction by CSC’s executive director, Dr. Carol Queen, and an essay by the New York based art historian and curator, Alex Fialho, and an interview between Buzz and Alex about the history of the collection. Alex has spent time in San Francisco and New York researching and interviewing the people who created these posters as activists, artists, community organizers, members of health organizations and independent graphics designers.
The collection consists of posters, primarily from San Francisco, but also encompasses other cities throughout the United States. It also includes international representations from Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada. This historical archive presents the visual means through which LGBTQ people passed on life saving information about safer-sex practices during the height of a health epidemic that continues to affect us today.
We are confident the exhibition and book will function as both an art historical survey of the importance of this collection of aesthetically beautiful and functionally informative posters as well as an educational endeavor engaging the LGBTQ community and beyond.
These posters do more than chart the tragedy of an epidemic, of an outsider community reeling from grief, loss, and the decimation of a blooming culture of sexual liberation. The history of these posters is a story of a fight against stigma, hatred and ignorance; of a community stepping up to take care of its own; of finding a way to extinguish fear and build pride and self-esteem; and of devoted efforts of committed activists to communicate a path to health and survival. -Buzz Bense
Please help FUND this worthy project – the inaugural book of CSC, and one we hope will be the first of many. Kickstarter campaign HERE.
June 1 – 30, 2013
San Francisco, CA
CALL FOR ART
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Scholars have long maintained that each era has a unique spirit, a nature or climate that sets it apart from all other epochs. In German, such a spirit is known as “Zeitgeist,” from the German words “Zeit,” meaning “time,” and “Geist,” meaning “spirit” or “ghost.” Some writers and artists assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, and several have declared that only artists or philosophers can adequately explain it. While we are not setting out to define a Queer Zeitgeist, the exhibition will expose and comment on manifestations of our cultural moment.
We are looking for artistic expressions that reflect or critique the intellectual, ethical and cultural climate of our queer times.
We hope to present trends in queer arts such as: queer craft, traditional as well as experimental works of painting, drawing, and sculpture, work that foregrounds emotional content and/or performance over formal aesthetics, new ways of representing the erotic, the body, gender and identity, reflections on the queer archive, ideas of domesticity, new ways of thinking about public and private space, queer time, remixed and repurposed work including collage and assemblage, eco/environmental work, the return to analog, all things digital, networked art, manifestations of social practice, relational work, collaborative work, activist art, interventions, propaganda, new approaches to film and video, audio art. International artists that offer a global perspective on queer art making are strongly encouraged to apply.
All media and artistic practices will be considered.
As part of our exhibition we are creating a one-day art market. If you have an idea, product, craft or performative engagement that you’d like to sell/exchange in our market please describe your product and/or exchange system. Please make it clear in your proposal that you want to be in the Zeitgeist Market.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR Work
DEADLINE: January 15, 2013
Please send the following to: Zeitgeist@queerculturalcenter.org
1. Please send visual documentation of previous work or work in progress. You may submit 2 to 5 jpegs, video links to YouTube or Vimeo or web links to images or projects. Please carefully label your images beginning with your last name and image number (example: Lastname_Image1.jpg).
2. Please include a Work Sample list describing each sample. (Title, Date, Medium)
2. If you are submitting a proposal for an installation please submit a detailed description and plan for your project including rough dimensions and any special hardware or rigging requirements.
3. For all other non-traditional media, please submit a proposal no longer that 2 pages with an appropriate work sample that will help the curators understand your idea. Please feel free to contact the exhibition coordinator if you are uncertain about what to submit. Zeitgeist@queerculturalcenter.org
4. A brief resume
5. A brief statement explaining how your work addresses the exhibition’s theme. How does your work reflect or critique the intellectual, ethical and cultural climate of our queer times.
Please send your submission via email to Zeitgeist@queerculturalcenter .org
Our Mailing Address is:
Queer Cultural Center (Qcc)
c/o African American Art and Culture Complex
762 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Note: Arrangements and expenses for shipping/delivery/retrieval are the responsibility of the artist. All non-installation must arrive/be delivered “ready to hang.” Artworks are insured by the gallery from the time they enter the gallery until they leave.
Hot Hard Gay Erotica! SF’s Center for Sex and Culture presents: “From the Collection of Larry Townsend”
Larry Townsend was a pivotal figure in the development of leather culture as we know it. What many do not know is that he was also a collector of art. The Center for Sex and Culture is extremely proud to present a selection of work from his collection. We will be showing illustrations by Macbeth, Olaf, Sean, Orsen, Russ, Dennis, Zane, DP, and others. This work spans a wide range of what we now thing of as the classical period of gay SM illustration work; the period in which almost no artists used their real full names when doing this sort of work. There are cops and cowboys and romans and leathermen playing in almost every way imaginable. The clear theme that runs through Townsend’s collection is that of unrestrained perverted joy. We will also be showing a selection of Townsend’s personal ephemera including toys, leathers, and original manuscripts. Please come join us to share this exceptional collection of materials. (via curatorial statement)
Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street (at Grace Street between 9th and 10th streets) in San Francisco.
Opening: Friday February 3, 6:30 PM
Exhibit dates: February 3 – March 30, 2012
Viewings by appointment and at other CSC Events
In an open letter to University of California Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, Assistant Professor Nathan Brown challenged her to take responsibility for the tear-gassing of peaceful, seated protestors.
Brown wrote: “You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt.”
Among the injured were Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States. For the full text of Dr. Brown’s letter, click here. For a slideshow of the Cal Occupation, here. And for another take on the police pepper-spraying students at Davis, here. Note the sea of camera-phones. The revolution will not be televised, but it may well be webcast.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading globally and regionally. Small college towns across the United States demonstrate contrasting responses. Protesters in Carbondale, Illinois have been huddling under a model of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome on the campus of Southern Illinois University. Campus police are considering removing the dome. According to Freshman Derrick Burns: “We had about 20 tents set up. Now look – zero, it’s a shame.” Read more and see video here.
Meantime in Arcata, California, home of Humboldt State University, 20 days into a camp-out, there have been some individual arrests, but the protests enjoy wide community support and the City Council is meeting to discuss installation of portable toilets and other amenities at the encampment.
They say: “We are educators, programmers, project managers, entrepreneurs, program coordinators, contractors, consultants, and speakers. We are academics. We are authors, diversity officers, historians, administrators, deans, professors, and researchers. We are creatives. We are musicians, bakers, painters, and storytellers. We are athletes, yogis, gym-rats, runners, and hikers. We are passionate. We are dog-lovers, radicals, conservatives, Christians, and Buddhists. We are in our twenties. We are in our forties. We are in relationships. We are perpetual bachelors. We are privileged beings who try to use their advantages to better the lives of others.
Who are we? We are The Men of the Stacks” Get the calendar here.
That’s the big question. Lots of whispering in the scene. So…is Leather dead? What IS Leather? Is it a kink? A material? A lifestyle? A sexuality? A philosophy? Yes…and. But the young guys are mostly into “gear.” So…what’s that? Back in the day, tough guys who rode motorcycles wore leather. Some still do. Those of us who were kids fixated of these masculine guys in black leather on bikes in boots. And cowboys in Westerns. And other outlaws. Tom of Finland and The Hun. But kids these days? They grew up with different images, materials and memes. Kevlar. Manga. Boards. Kicks. Thugs. Different kinks, but still kinky, and still into POWER. The more things change…
On Wednesday, July 27th in San Francisco, a stellar cast of Leather Community stars will discuss the future of Leather. This historic conversation is being sponsored by the Leathermens Discussion Group. Panel participants are leatherman, author, activist and pioneering psychotherapist Guy Baldwin, organizer, educator, commentator, and nontraditional sex activist Race Bannon, Instigator editor-in-chief Michael Thorn and Leather historian and scholar Gayle Rubin. Come join the conversation. Get there early. This one will be especially popular!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm @ Andrew Spencer Ceremonial Room, 4th floor, SF LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, San Francisco.
Sand…those little rocks on the beach. Sand…in the 19th century, it was just one more slang term for testicular fortitude. Because you can never have too many ways to say it! Rocks, gravel, sand, guts, nuts…he’s got some set of balls on him! But back in the day, they used to say: “He’s got sand!”
Gary Greenberg, a biomedical researcher from University College London, has recently published A Grain of Sand, a book of close-up photographs of sand. He sees the big picture in the little picture. He’s not the only one. Way back in the 18th century, proto-homosexual poet William Blake wrote:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Friend of this site Jim Ward founded The Gauntlet, and is widely regarded as the grand-daddy of the modern body piercing phenomenon. Now he has published a history. In May, he spoke to a packed room at The Leathermen’s Disscussion Group in San Francisco. Running the Gauntlet—An Intimate History of the Modern Body Piercing Movement tells the detailed story of “how Jim discovered his own fascination with body piercing and went on to found the industry.” Full of wonderful and terrible stories and amazing photographs, it includes details of his friendship with the heavily pierced and very gay Louis Rove – the adoptive father of the notorious Carl Rove. Other interesting bits include how the color purple came to signify piercing in the hanky code, and how he was collared to his long-term partner and Master, Drew Ward.
On Saturday, July 16th, 2011, from 1 to 5 pm, Jim will be at Mr. S Leather , signing books and chatting. Mr. S is at 385 8th St at Harrison in San Francisco, four blocks south of the Civic Center BART Station. If you can’t make it to the book event, and you want a copy, you can order one at the Running The Gauntlet website, here. Jim will even sign it for you.