Dirty Looks Names Curators for Closely Watched Los Angeles Queer Art Event

The curatorial committee for On Location 2020

The curatorial committee for On Location 2020.


Events put on by Dirty Looks, a nonprofit that organizes programming focused on queer histories, have formed a nexus of the Los Angeles art scene. The organization is now planning the fifth edition of On Location, which aims to unite many of the city’s most prominent queer artists.

On Location, a biennial event series, will place films and performances in gay bars, community centers, and other resonant sites around the city. Fourteen individuals and one organization are lined up to curate the event, which is due to run from July 1 to 31.

That curatorial team includes Jackie Clay, executive director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in Alabama; Chris Cruse, founder and resident DJ of the queer party Spotlight in Los Angeles and founder of Queer Maps L.A.; writer, artist, and performer Nikki Darling; filmmaker Mariah Garnett; video artist Aimee Goguen; writer and film curator Micah Gottlieb; artist, actor, and writer Paul Gellman (a.k.a. Tall Paul); Arshia Fatima Haq, artist and founder of the collaborative decolonial project Discostan; Frank Jaffe, founder of the LGBTQ-focused film distributor Altered Innocence; artist Amitis Motevalli; PonyLee Musgrave, cofounder of the Ms. & Mx. Cruise L.A. leather contest and Folklore Salon, and member of the Dyke Day L.A. board; Dirty Looks founder Bradford Nordeen; artist and curator Andres Payan Estrada; Wendy Yao, founder of the Los Angeles bookshop Ooga Booga and cofounder of the city’s shuttered 356 Mission gallery; and the punk and hardcore festival Transgress Fest.

“One of the things we’re working on this year is putting extra effort into forging a sense of community amongst the curators, with the hope that more collaborative events can occur from that,” Nordeen told ARTnews. “We’re really invested in building community within the infrastructure of the festival.”

With support from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Mike Kelley Foundation, the 2020 event will also feature two commissioned artworks. (The artists chosen to create those works will be announced early next year.)

Dirty Looks’s On Location announcement coincides with the addition of five new members to its board of directors. Those new board members are artist Anna Betbeze; Jeffrey Caballero, artist, designer, photographer, and creative director for Hustler stores; Adam Frank, a financial coach and planner; Ryan Linkof, curator of film at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and Ariel Osterweis, professor of critical dance studies and performance studies at CalArts.

Update 10/31/19, 5:10 p.m.: This article has been updated to clarify that On Location 2020 will be the event series’ fifth edition. It has also been updated to reflect that On Location will run through July 31.

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