by Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan
HD video , 07:55 min, courtesy of the artist
October 12 – November 4, 2020
Selected by Elise Lammer
In Gaby, a video work named for the duo’s best friend, the artists present three vignettes highlighting intersections of gay culture: its iconography, politics and relationships, as well as the police, through their tactics and their personnel. The first part includes a montage of found video clips in which active police dance at pride parades to Y.M.C.A. , The Village People’s iconic 1978 song. Over the last decade, similar sequences have been making the headlines of news outlets, triggering an unanimous positive reaction. Often joined by celebrating paraders, the officers are usually caught on mobile phone cameras, and their apparent amicability clashes strongly with today’s alarming rise of police brutality. The film follows with an animatic sequence of a 1977 issue of the gay magazine Christopher Street, extolling, mostly white, male gay communities’ propensity to rejuvenate disregarded neighbourhoods and “save” Manhattan from the “slums”, in what can be understood as early testimonies of a queer history of gentrification in New York.
Finally, the gaze of the viewer is led for a few seconds into what looks like a the 3D reconstruction of a dimly blue lit room, before reading the the recount by the eponymous Gaby of his brief relationship as an eighteen-year-old with a straight-presenting gay cop.
Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings (Newcastle and London; both b.1991) are an artist duo based in London. Working across drawing, film, installation, performance and fresco, their practice examines the behaviours, history, politics, and artefacts of LQBTQ culture in the Western context. Quinlan and Hastings are committed to exposing nationalism, masculinity, and whiteness within the LGBTQ community and the effects on the community of state-led violence, including policing, gentrification, and austerity. Recent projects continue to be informed by The UK Gay Bar Directory (2016). Prompted by the rapid closure of gay bars, this work is a moving image archive featuring over 100 gay bars in the UK with a duration of 4 hours. The artists are represented by Arcadia Missa, London and Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.
In 2020 SCREEN offers monthly screenings of artist’s films selected and introduced by Elise Lammer. Available to watch online for a limited period of time, the selection includes films of outstanding quality that propose, often with a documentary approach, layered and sometime fictional narratives exploring the interconnections between social, environmental and political issues.