Fantastic Queer Narratives: Lynda Benglis, The Amazing Bow Wow + Harry Dodge, The Ass and the Lap Dog
Lynda Benglis, The Amazing Bow Wow, video, 32 min, 1976
Harry Dodge, The Ass and the Lap Dog, video, 33 min, 2013
Dirty Looks: On Location comes to Bureau of General Services – Queer Division for an evening of fantastic queer narratives, spanning more than thirty years of video art practice. Made in 1976, The Amazing Bow Wow is the only fully narrative video Lynda Benglis produced and follows the adventures of a talking, intersexed dog used by Benglis and her partner in their carnival sideshow act—until Benglis starts to fall for Bow Wow and things take a tragic turn.The Ass and the Lap Dog, from 2013, sees Harry Dodge attempting several on-camera interviews only to be bombarded with bizarre, insanely detailed descriptions of the videos his interviewees would like to make, to hilarious and hallucinatory effect.
Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1941. An important sculptor for more than three decades, Benglis also produced a pioneering body of feminist video in the 1970s. Immediate and visceral, her performance-based video work confronts issues raised by feminist theory, including the representation of women, the role of the spectator, and female sexuality. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the 39th Venice Biennale; Cheim & Read and Franklin Parrasch galleries in New York, among many other venues. In 2011, a retrospective of her work was exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts, the University of Arizona, Yale University, Princeton University and the California Institute of the Arts, among other schools. Benglis lives and works in New York.
Harry Dodge is an artist living and working in Los Angeles who makes shows that include video, performance, sculpture, and drawing. In the early 90s, Dodge was one of the founders of the now-legendary San Francisco community-based performance space, The Bearded Lady, which served as a gathering point for a pioneering, polysexual, queer literary and arts scene. In the latter part of 90s, Dodge wrote, directed, edited and starred in (with Silas Howard) a narrative feature film, By Hook or By Crook, which premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2002, and went on to become a cult classic, garnering five Best Feature awards at various film festivals. Dodge also performed in the 2000 John Waters film, Cecil B. Demented. Dodge has shown solo and collaborative work at venues including the 2008 Whitney Biennial; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; PS 1, Contemporary Art Center; Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York; and Wallspace Gallery, New York, among many others, and has work in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Recent activities include a forthcoming book of drawings and a feature-length video, Camp Is A Tender Feeling (2013).