A.K. Burns & A.L. Steiner: Community Action Center

7 October - 4 December 2010
Installation Views
Press release

The gallery is pleased to present Community Action Center, a 70-minute sociosexual video by A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner, which incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by porn-romance-liberation films, such as works by Fred Halsted, Jack Smith, James Bidgood, Joe Gage and Wakefield Poole, which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, landscapes and the body politic of a particular time and place. Community Action Center is a unique contemporary womyn-centric composition that serves as both an ode and a hole-filler.

 

Because the video contains sexually explicit content, the term ‘porn’ is relevant and the artists have an interest in exploring the trappings of the term itself. Sex, sexuality and the complexities of gendered bodies are inherently political. Queer sex and feminist agency is a shared acknowledgment of reciprocal penetration. This project is a small archive of an intergenerational community built on collaboration, friendship, sex and art. The work attempts to explore a consideration of feminist fashion, sexual aesthetics and an expansive view of what is defined as ‘sex’. Burns and Steiner worked with artists and performers who created infinitely complex gender and performance roles that are both real and fantastical, set to a soundtrack of music and original compositions by artists culled from the worldwide sisterhood. The video seeks to expose and reformulate paradigms that are typical of porn typologies, intentionally exploiting tropes for their comical value, critical consideration and historical homage. Using the gallery to exer/exorcise the mystical and discreet lost spaces of homosocial configuration, the artists have created a reason and a space to reflect on the cultural realness of homo-grown lesbian sexuality. The work aims to be a hedonistic and distinctly political adventure.

 

The video is accompanied by a portfolio of photographs shot during production, available upon request.

 

Community Action Center was first exhibited at Taxter & Spengemann, New York in September and at Liste 15, Basel in June.

 

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. A.K.’s practice explores interpretation and implications of sexuality, power and language, taking the form of sculpture, video, drawings and social actions. A.K. has been a frequent contributor and active member of both LTTR and Ridykeulous and is a founding member of W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy). Her work can be found in the The Judith Rothschild Contemporary Drawings Collection at MoMA. This fall, A.K. will launch the inaugural issue of RANDY in collaboration with Sophie Mörner/Capricious Publishing.

 

A.L. Steiner uses constructions of photography, video, installation, collage, collaboration, performance, teaching and curatorial work as seductive tropes channeled through the sensibility of a cynical queer eco-feminist androgyne. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Steiner is a collective member of Chicks on Speed, the co-curator of Ridykeulous, a founding member of W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) and collaborates with numerous visual and performing artists. She is represented by Taxter & Spengemann, NY.