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)

Available Title(s):

Dry Kisses Only/War on Lesbians

A film by Kaucyila Brooke, 1992, 100 min, Color

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…

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Dry Kisses Only

A film by Kaucyila Brooke, 1990, 75 min, Color

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, this marvelous film explores the lesbian subtext of classical films—the dry kisses of the film’s title. Hollywood movies are re-edited to find the truth behind the relationships between the heroine and the “other woman.” Dykella and Dykenna…

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