Steven Arnold Special

Total running time c. 60min

The artist, photographer, and filmmaker Steven Arnold was a muse and model of Salvador Dalí who always referred to Arnold as his prince. Andy Warhol star Holly Woodlawn claimed that if Warhol’s Factory was typical New York, then the circle around Arnold in Los Angeles was Versailles. Arnold’s work provides a fascinating bridge between the early cross-gender experiments of Claude Cahun and Pierre Molinier and what the media theorist Gene Youngblood termed the ‘polymorphous subterranean world of unisexual transvestism’ that he saw as a hallmark of the emerging ‘synaesthetic cinema’ of the 1960s. The screening also pays homage to an innovative—yet often overlooked—poet of the Beat Generation, ruth weiss, who stars in all the films featured. weiss worked with Arnold in the late-1960s, and among many other jobs she did to support her writing career, was also that of a chorus girl.

The program will be introduced by Stuart Comer

Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress
1969, 10 mins
With ruth weiss, Pat Eddy Lowe and Stephen Kelemen
Costumes by Steven Arnold

Messages, Messages
1972, 23 mins
With ruth weiss, The Joseph, Pandora
Costumes by Steven Arnold

The Liberation of Mannique Mechanique
1967, 15 mins
With Sonia Magill and ruth weiss
Costumes by Steven Arnold