Phyllis Christopher in conversation with Laura Guy and Lizzie Homersham

Archive Shelf Location BALTIC2021M
Publication Date 08 Dec 2021

Artist Phyllis Christopher discusses her work and BALTIC exhibition Contacts with Laura Guy and Lizzie Homersham.

Belonging to a politicised tradition of documentary photography, Christopher’s hand printed and tinted images reflect how the camera participated in the performance of queer identities and feminist politics in the club and in the streets.

Contacts marks the first major institutional survey of Christopher’s work, which she produced while living in San Francisco between 1988 and 2003. Her archive offers insight into expressions of lesbian sexuality and queer politics during a period of heightened homophobic violence and state censorship amid the AIDS crisis in the US. Pairing images depicting moments of sexual intimacy alongside documents of LGBTQ+ protest in the street, Contacts explores the ways that visual representation and political activism are rendered inseparable through Christopher’s lens.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of Christopher’s first monograph Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988-2003 by Bookworks. The exhibition at BALTIC coincides with Christopher’s solo exhibition at Grand Union in Birmingham and together they represent the artist’s first major retrospective.

Laura Guy is a writer and curator based in Glasgow where she works as a lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies at Glasgow School of Art. Her research on queer feminist art and photography has been published widely. She is curator of Phyllis Christopher: Contacts at BALTIC and editor of Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988-2003.

Lizzie Homersham is a writer and editor, and works as Editor at Book Works, London. Recent/ongoing projects include What's Love Got To Do With Teleportation? and Painters Say The Funniest Things. Her writing has been published in Artforum, Art Monthly, Another Gaze, and elsewhere. She is a part-time PhD candidate at the University of Westminster, English Literature, commencing January 2022.

Speakers Lizzie Homersham, Laura Guy
Formats MPEG 4, Live to digital
Related Artist Phyllis Christopher
Category Photography
Keywords Documentary photography, Black-and-white photography, photographic technique, Lesbian, Queer culture, Homosexuality, Protest, AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome), Sex, Archives, Sexuality, LGBTQIA+
Related City/Region San Francisco
Related Event Phyllis Christopher: Contacts (23 October 2021 – 20 March 2022)
Related Gallery BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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