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Dirty Looks Screening: Fertile La Toyah Jackson, Volume 1

Dirty Looks presents an outdoor, free screening of Fertile La Toyah Jackson: Volume 1 (Restoration premiere, 52min., 1993)

Vaginal Davis launched her groundbreaking publication Fertile La Toyah Jackson in the late 1980s. The photocopied zine brimmed with local art and music factoids, styling and photos by Beula Love (a pseudonym for Rick Castro), pieces of celebrity gossip and quickly established the queercore music scene by detailing (one could argue “exaggerating”) Ms. Davis’ musical projects: Cholita; The Afro Sisters; and Pedro, Muriel and Esther. Establishing Davis as an erstwhile chronicler of the alternative musical movement, Tower Records even signed an international distribution deal for the black & white 8.5x11” publication. Dennis Cooper likened its loquacious contents to Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon series, on account of its insider gossip, celebrity sex stories and fantastic lore that the Davis presented as fact.

In 1993, Davis teamed up Rick Castro (Hustler White) to make Fertile move. Together they produced two VHS volumes of the zine, which captured the zeal of the publication, but also documented LAs in transition, as shows like Melrose Place began to make their city streets a mass culture stomping ground. Posing as an MTV VJ, Davis walks the Santa Monica strip for segment “Streetwalker Fashions” interviewing the trans sex workers there, transforming the boulevard into a red carpet affair as she asks, “who are you wearing?” Other chapters depict lost West Hollywood haunts like Eat A Pita, The French Marketplace and Numbers. Brimming with local talent, like Taste of Latex editor Lily Burana, Iris Parker of Madame X; RuPaul even makes an appearance, as she promotes her breakout single “Supermodel” and sits for a one-on-one interview with Ms. Davis.

Dirty Looks is thrilled to screen a new restoration of Fertile La Toyah Jackson Volume 1, produced with the support of the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division through a Transgender Arts Initiative grant, under the stars of West Hollywood in Plummer Park. Copies of Dirty Looks Volume 4 will be distributed at the event, featuring a chapter chronicling the title, with contributions by Castro, Joshua Chambers-Letson, Rudy “Bleu” Garcia, Brontez Purnell and Linda Simpson.

Rick Castro is a Los Angeles-based photographer, filmmaker & writer known for his work focusing on fetish and desire. Bruce LaBruce and he collaborated as co-directors/writers for the film Hustler White, (1996). The film was a great success internationally and is listed by the LA Times top 100 underground films of the 20th century. 

Vaginal Davis is the internationally revered intersexed doyenne of intermedia arts and sciences, all told through her personal lens of queer and blatino experience.

Dirty Looks Inc is a platform for queer film, video and performance founded in 2011 by Bradford Nordeen. Using film and time-based art to illuminate queer histories and liminal spaces across Los Angeles and New York City, Dirty Looks traces contemporary queer aesthetics through historical works, presenting quintessential GLBTQ film and video, alongside up-and-coming artists and filmmakers. Dirty Looks exhibits a lineage of queer tactics and visual styles for younger artists, casual viewers and seasoned avant-garde filmgoers, alike. Over the course of eight years, Dirty Looks has staged screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, The Hammer, Participant Inc, White Columns, ONE Archives, Artists Space and Judson Memorial Church. 

 Please RSVP for the screening here: 

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