THE HARD CORPS: clubs, sex, activism, bodies
La MaMa Galleria
THE HARD CORPS: clubs, sex, activism, bodies panel and community discussion re-engaged the activist/artist-led alternative parties of the Clit Club, Tattooed Love Child, Meat, and Pork, among others. Panelists Julie Tolentino and Aldo Hernandez, moderated by Joshua Lubin-Levy, considered the range of affective and activist responses to the intersections of nightlife and community building at the heart of throwing and contributing to sex-positive parties during the height of the AIDS crisis.
Julie Tolentino’s career spans over two decades of dance, site-based durational performance and installation. Her diverse roles have included host, producer, mentor, performer and collaborator with artists such as Meg Stuart, Lovett/Codagnone, David Rousseve, Diamanda Galàs, Madonna, Catherine Opie, Stosh Fila, Ron Athey, Gran Fury, and Rodarte. Tolentino is influenced by her experience as caregiver, aquatic bodyworker as well as proprietress of Clit Club (1990-2002) and other weeklies such as Dagger, Butterfly, and Tattooed Love Child, with Craig Spencer. She co-wrote and coordinated grassroots distribution of the Lesbian AIDS Project/GMHC's Lesbian Safer Sex Handbook with Cynthia Madansky in 1993. She was a member of ACT UP, as part of the House of Color video collective and Art Positive. She worked with the Empire State Pride Agenda, volunteered at Aestrea Foundation and worked for several years on the Gay and Lesbian Suicide Hotline. Her 2015 experimental short video collaboration “evidence,” with Abigail Severance, was included in the 25th Anniversary of Visual AIDS’ Day With(out) Art.As an extension of her practice after twenty-five years in New York City, she designed and built an off-grid solar-powered residency in the Mohave Desert - FERAL House and Studio. She is co-editor of the Provocations section of TDR/MIT Press.
Aldo Hernandez, in the early 80’s, co-founded the Mercury Arts Center in Long Beach, CA, and by the late 80's was fundraising and selecting artists for Creative Time in New York. In 1988 he got involved with ACT UP, then the following year jacked his activism into Art+Positive; a loose group within ACT UP who responded to AIDsphobia, Homophobia and Censorship in the Arts. By the summer of 1990 Art+Positive's 'Militant Eroticism’ was expressed via the dance music and creative arts shared at MEAT, a clubhouse where it was all about being yourself. Nights when the rally cry of Loud, Positive, Raving, Queer coursed through our blood and tears. These posters and handouts are pennants of our weekly death disco respite from the battle for our friends’ lives.
Joshua Lubin-Levy (moderator) is a dramaturg, curator and writer. Previous projects include Fred Herko: A Crash Course sponsored by the Goethe-Institut New York and the Tisch Institute for Creative Research; Ephemera As Evidence commissioned by Visual AIDS, La MaMa Galleria (2014); and Petite Mort: Recollection of a Queer Public co-created with artist Carlos Motta for FOREVER & TODAY, INC. (2011). He is currently at work on a book length project about the performer and artist Jack Smith, as well as a series of collaborative essays on queer choreography developed as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space artist residency program in 2015.