Dry Kisses Only/War on Lesbians

Two films by Jane Cottis and Kaucyila Brooke

1992 | 100 minutes | Color | VHS | Order No. 99632

SYNOPSIS

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, DRY KISSES ONLY (1990, 75 mins.) explores the lesbian subtext of classical films. Cottis and Brooke reedit Hollywood movies to affirm the validity of lesbian readings of popular culutre and the tenuous truths of gossip. WAR ON LESBIANS (1992, 32 mins.) is a witty critique of the invisibility of positive images of lesbians and a satire of talk show television and radio self-help program. Both films are hilarious tributes to lesbian spectatorship as well as biting critiques of the media, lesbian stereotyping and popular culture.

PRESS

"A transgressive look at the cultural icons of femininity and feminism made by two people with a serious late-nite cable habit and a good deal of skepticism about the heterosexual bias of feminist film theory."

Catherine Lord

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Kaucyila Brooke

Kaucyila Brooke is an artist based in Los Angeles and through her multidisciplinary practice, she addresses the politics of cultural production and sexual representation. In diverse narrativized and serial formats—including large-scale photomontages, photo novellas, and photographic archives—she reevaluates the status of the photograph as object. In "Tit for Twat," an ongoing photomontage series Brooke began in 1993 that recodes the biblical creation myth of Genesis, she restages the narrative with reference to lesbian sexual identity. Pursuing a structural approach that is inherently allegorical, the work opens upon a range of interpretation brought about by the juxtaposition of disparate photographic fragments. In "Alma Mater" (2009), a five channel video installation, women scholars and artists enact a feminist peripatetic pedagogy as they walk through the 19th century arcades of the University of Vienna populated by the busts of 154 male scientists and scholars. In Brooke’s performative slide lecture "Where Does the Venus Come From?" (2009, 2015) as Dr. Julia Savage, she discusses the unknown origins of the prehistoric figurine known as the Venus von Willendorf and traces the 19th century’s masculinist bias in such academic sciences as anthropology and archeology. In "The Boy Mechanic" (1996–ongoing), she documents a social history of lesbian bars by photographing their present and former locations in cities such as San Diego, Cologne, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

In 1990, she and Jane Cottis also co-produced DRY KISSES ONLY which uses manipulated film, clips and humorous commentary to explore the lesbian subtext in classic Hollywood films. Brooke’s work has been shown in a number of international galleries and institutions, including solo exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, (2013, 2010); The Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2012); Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (2006, 2008, 2012); Silberkuppe, Berlin (2009); Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation/ Forum für Fotographie, Cologne; Andersen-s Contemporary, Copenhagen, (2006), NAK, Aachen, Germany; Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany (2005); plattform, Berlin (2004), Art Resources Transfer, New York (2001,1999). Kaucyila Brooke has also been a regular faculty member of the Program in Photography and Media at CalArts since 1992, and served as Program Director (1999 –2004) and Program Co-Director (1994-1999, 2013-2015). (01/20)

Jane Cottis

Jane Cottis is currently a mentor in the ‘Finding Our Wings' community documentary collective. Within this collaborative group of MICA members and teenage girls from East Baltimore, she has co-produced two short narratives: CICADAS (2010) and EVERYONE LOVES BRIENNA (2012). She has been making and screening videos for over 20 years. Her productions include: 30 DAYS: BIGGEST LOSER? (2009), 20+ YEARS, (2009) IT’S A LESBIAN WORLD AFTER ALL (2006), PENNY WEGMAN (2006), SOROROCIDE (1998), WAR ON LESBIANS(1992) and DRY KISSES ONLY (1990) which have screened nationally and internationally. She has also worked collectively on numerous Paper Tiger Productions.

Jane Cottis has continued building relationships with the main campus of MICA and Mica Place in East Baltimore by joining Viewfinders. Viewfinders is a Photography and Entrepreneurship after school mentor program for 13 to 15 year old teenagers at Mica Place. Cottis has begun teaching them basic college level narrative and documentary skills in a continuation of building bridges between the diverse communities of Baltimore. She has been a video instructor for more than two decades teaching at: the Art Institute of Chicago, the California Institute for the Arts, the University of California San Diego, the University of California Irvine, Otis, Hampshire College and currently MICA. (8/14)

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