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Queer Films & Storytelling Exhibit

Free Public Film Program: "Intimate Portraits" March 11, 7:00-9:00pm
Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art
591 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102-4403
ph 973 622-1600
fx 973 622-6526

“Intimate Portraits,” is a series of queer autobiographical stories of personal, social, and political experiences confronting relationships of desire and alienation. These films are engaging, heartfelt and compelling. Come experience a sensual buffet of short films that explore intersections of identity and physicality, seemingly natural sites of marginalization. International films by Jamika Ajalon, Dino Dinco, Mónica Enríquez, Leor Grady, Dana Inkster, Vince Mascoli, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Matt Palazzolo, Timothy Smith, and X'Ho. Co-Presented by the MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival

Queer Short Film Program in conjunction with the art/storytelling exhibition:
I'm always thinking of you even when I'm kissing another boy
By Ethan Shoshan

On view February 27 through April 17, 2010
Reception: Thursday, March 25, 6:00-9:00pm
Live Storytelling: every Saturday during run of exhibition, 2:00-4:00pm
Intimate Portraits film screening: March 11, 7:00-9:00pm

Newark, New Jersey—Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to bring the latest solo project by Ethan Shoshan. The artist will present an intimate collection of more than 100 objects—some art, some ephemera, some gifted, some found—all of which have a story. In the tradition of oral storytelling, making it both subject and medium, Shoshan presents a narrative for each object on display. Stories range from rhetorical and touching to explicit and provocative; each lending clairvoyance to a voyeuristic experience. Guests have the freedom to peruse the objects and listen to an accompanying audio guide. Shoshan also provides live storytelling performances every Saturday, from 2:00 to 4:00pm.

“I'm always thinking of you even when I'm kissing another boy” includes items given by and/or produced by:
Sur Rodney (Sur), Mark Arthur, Betty Bee, Brian Buczak, Albert Choi, Ms Confidence, Andrew D'Angelo, Niilartey D'Osu, Mike Diana, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Flawless Sabrina, Devon Gallegos, Scott Garner, Gelitin, H R Giger, Noam Gonick & Luis Jacob, Bibbe Hansen, Geoffrey Hendricks, David Henshaw, Christian Holstad, Jenny Holzer, Kate Huh, Inbred Hybrid Collective & Les Simpson, Derek Jackson, Geraldine Juárez, Israel Julien, Marek Kukumberg, Glenn Ligon, Tim Loque, Shane Luitjens, Jack Waters & Peter Cramer, Amanda Matles & Jan Baracz, Scott Matthew, Wangechi Mutu, MR NVR.COM, Morgan O'Hara, Rios O'Leary-Tagiuri, Yoko Ono, Carlo Quispe, Michael S, Joshua Safdie, Desi Santiago & David Menkes, Ryan Schneider, Emily Severance, George Spencer, TABBOO!, Christopher Tanner, Gail Thacker, The Yes Men, Paul Thek, Robert Warner, Dennis Weddle, May Wilson, and Sara Wolfe.

An article on the artist's work:
FEELINGS FRUITSTAND by Vince Golveo, 2010

My first glimpse of Ethan Shoshan’s work was after meeting him with friends on the way to a gay bear party in Chelsea. Sharing a cigarette he rolled for me, he showed me a few folded origami kung-fu stars that he had given out made from porn magazines. I thought, “Oh, I see, a porn-star, how clever.” The pointy flesh-colored stars embodied a pun, a simple joke giving us some solidarity as modern homos. Its guile was in displaying a marker of identity as folding, intersecting, flying, and fierce.

Shoshan’s recent project contains a larger but similar interlocking intensity. In I'm always thinking of you even when I'm kissing another boy there are numerous narratives examining intimacy between objects and identity. The objects range from abject to beautiful. The stories crafted around each are disarmingly personal. The narrator’s tone is reflective and meditative, describing each object in terms of relationships and actions, real or fantastic. In contrast, some of the artifacts are quite provocative. A sign in the show has red handwritten lettering on scraps of white paper glued to an orange board screaming out “Hey— why won’t you fucking pay attention to me?” In a sparse frame, there’s a pair of white boxer briefs covered with suggestive brown muck (it’s actually chocolate). There’s also a wrists and neck shackle made of knitted red yarn. These are just a small fraction of the objects on display.

What’s not on display are some objects that also really touched me. While working on this project, Shoshan showed me some folded paper tessellations he created for an artist friend who wanted to construct them as fabric. Tessellations are mathematic structures that fill up planes without any gaps. They can be seen in the famous Alhambra palace, Escher drawings, and the skin of computer generated 3D objects. In physics, which Shoshan has studied extensively, tessellations are described as translational symmetry.

Translational symmetry of an object means that a particular translation does not change the object. For a given object, the translations for which this applies form a group, the symmetry group of the object, or, if the object has more kinds of symmetry, a subgroup of the symmetry group. (Wikipedia)

The obtuse technical definition for me is a reprieve from another technical document I recently read explaining Facebook application development. It stated that “to be statistically valid, social graphs require that their nodes (or users) are unique…requiring that each account be backed by a single physical person.”

On first experiencing Shoshan’s work, it might feel akin to browsing through social networking sites and reading multiple snippets of a “node’s” personal “social graph.” But after more time meandering through the maze of objects and words Shoshan presents, one begins to realize that these things are not disposable snippets, especially on encountering a yellow ribbon barricade with the word “GENTRIFY”, marking space with an intractable urgency. Underlying the work is symmetry of intention, locking together, describing fleeting states of intimacy, performed with a persistent lack of cynicism or irony. Underneath is something worthy of understanding, a distinct voice, an artist, queer‐identified, observing and being observed, each observation holding a confession, each meaning more than the sum of its parts—perhaps a psychosocial tessellation, a millennial queer Gestalt? For now I like to think of what I’m describing, to quote a Shoshan artifact, as a “Feelings Fruitstand.”

Vince Golveo is an artist who develops websites and rich media applications. He moved from Los Angeles to Brooklyn three years ago. Golveo hates slushy snow, but loves New York.

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Participants needed

Participants needed for an investigation on the differences between gender
variant persons' satisfaction within specific gender identity clinics and
the wider health care service.

My name is Alice Warner and I am a student in the school of psychology at
the University of Leicester. I am currently looking for research
participants to fill out a brief questionnaire about their experiences of
health care as trans people. A good deal of research has focused on trans patient satisfaction, but very
little has been done on the various different types of trans people that
have been identified. A recent survey by the NHS was very thorough and
produced some marvellous results, but it was focused on a single clinical
setting and a single group of patients. I hope to take their model and
apply it to other groups and examine any differences that occur.
My fundamental aim is to find out whether a certain type of gender variant
person's satisfaction of service higher because they have easier access to
the specialised gender identity clinics? Is there a difference in patient
satisfaction between specialised gender identity clinics and the wider
health care service? If such a difference exists, which type of gender
variant person does it affect the most and what possible reasons there are
for this?
Participants should identify as any type of gender variant (trans,
transgender, transsexual etc.) and should have some experience of the
health care system as a trans person (e.g. seeing a GP or local
psychiatrist, or going to a GIC).
I hope the results will be able to inform future treatment practices and
the community at large.
To participate please follow this URL All responses are anonymous and everyone is encouraged to participate
regardless of location.

For a further information about the study or any background information,
please feel free to contact one of the researchers.

Alice Warner

You may also contact my advisor Dr. Robertson at

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