Arbus, My Bad Haircut, Finished My Little Film

Friday, November 7th, 2003 | Art, Food, Friends, Gay

I just got back from the Diane Arbus show, Revelations, at SFMoMA. No real revelations–her images are so deeply etched into my psyche–although there were a few early photos that showed clear influences prior to her finding her own voice that were interesting to see. There’s one particular room, of her later images of asylum inmates, that, even though I’ve seen them a gazillion times, moved me to near tears–the dark brooding skies and the inmates dressed in masks, performing for themselves and for the camera. “Kak stranno… how strange,” Norma Shearer got it right in Idiot’s Delight. Last night I had peking duck with Peter and Luis–a total delight to be among queens who were raised on MGM musicals and Von Sternberg films. We lamented the new generation of gay men who missed out on the tutelage of the sweater queens (Peter’s father and my early, well, all of my boyfriends), who nurtured our camp sensibilities and anti-assimilationist tendencies. I’ve always wanted to make some sort of public monument to the sissy, to whom we owe everything, and who was sadly jettisoned from the center stage of gay liberation, upstaged by a safer, more palatable representation of masculinity. We talked of throwing a Mae West film festival soon, and plan to grow old as we imagine she did, wisecracking and surrounded by hunky sexpots. I have a horrible haircut, by the way. Bob accused me of anti-semitism this morning when I cursed my hairdresser for making me look like a concentration camp survivor. I carefully explained that I was commenting on Nazi stylists, not their victims.

I finished my first edited version of Tremor, my entree into avant-garde filmmaking. I don’t know if it’s awful or interesting, but I love watching it. I’m going to be one of those Pierre Molinier artists, I’m sure, discovered by some little art fag 50 years from now and proclaimed grande fetishiste –“How could they not see?” he’ll ask… And hey, if you didn’t see my work in the LAB’s 20th anniversary show, tomorrow’s the last day and I don’t show a lot around here. So get your ass away from that computer monitor and over to 16th Street.

So tonight it’s Kill Bill. Yes.

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