Vaginal Davis

  • An app-based gig worker participates in an October 8 driving demonstration outside Los Angeles City Hall urging voters to vote no on Proposition 22. Photo: Al Seib/Getty.
    slant November 12, 2020

    Aftershock: Vaginal Davis

    Artforum has invited artists to share a text, image, or video in the immediate wake of the United States presidential election and will be posting their contributions throughout the week.

    LORD LOVE the Hot Humpy Dork Party!

    When the weather is warm in Berlin there is nothing I adore more than riding on my trusty Dutch girl’s bicycle around the city, art-stalking that rarest of rare breeds, the species affectionately known as the hotus humpyus dorkus. Humpy dorks are generally young men slightly on the diminutive side but not always, who aren't fully aware of their sexual attractiveness and innate

  • Vaginal Davis

    Where is my movie camera? . . . I CAN’T SEE WITHOUT IT.
    Barbara Rubin

    I wish I had known about Barbara Rubin back in the day in Hollywood, when I was making my queer zine Fertile LaToyah Jackson, because she was like me: a precocious weenager who didn’t take any excrement from anyone, least of all men. She was not only bold, beautiful, and voracious, she was a total badass. She was a Lilith, a Sheila, a Cybele demanding gonads to make a necklace of testicles. In Rubin’s case, among those she kept in check was Film Culture editor in chief Jonas “Uncle Fishhook” Mekas, as well as Andy Warhol,

  • Vaginal Davis and Father Larry Wessel performing at Jabberjaw, 1990. Photo: John Aes-Nihil.


    THE LOCATION WAS PERFECT. Jabberjaw, the legendary all-ages Armageddonist salon-galleria, opened in Los Angeles in 1989 at 3711 West Pico Boulevard: a former evangelical church turned sign shop (or vice versa) that had also been the site of a gruesome, Black Dahlia–like quadruple homicide. Just off Crenshaw, Jabberjaw was officially Mid-City, the nexus of South Central LA. And it happened to be next door to Catch One, the famed black gay disco where Madonna would drag a bored Warren Beatty during their courtship as he filmed the comic-strip clunker Dick Tracy.

    The whole setup—which will be

  • Shelly Silver, in complete world, 2008, still from a color video, 53 minutes.


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2008.


    James Coleman, Background, 1991–94 (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin) Existential photo-novel? Soap opera? Mail-order-catalogue photo shoot? Coleman’s installations, pairing slide projection with synchronized audio, don’t lend themselves to easy categorization. In Background, shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art this year, the male narrator’s voice adds to the general dislocation, straining earnestly to convey some sort