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PRINT Summer 2001

OPENINGS: CAMERON JAMIE

YEARS BEFORE I SAW ANY OF CAMERON JAMIE'S WORK, the artist Larry Johnson had told me about “this guy who does 'apartment wrestling'”—or at least performance that takes that softcore-porn subgenre as its point of departure. Eventually I met the artist and he agreed to send me a copy of his film BB, 2000, but it would be months and many missed connections-before the eighteen-minute extravaganza of suburban teenage acting-out would arrive in the mail with two shorter videos, La Baguette, 1997, and The New Life, 1996. Wildly different from whatever I'd imagined, they were truly odd, riveting in a bewildering way.

BB, I knew, documented the “backyard wrestling” phenomenon that had sprung up among working-class kids in the San Fernando Valley. I had the wrong idea that backyard wrestling had somehow evolved from apartment wrestling, but it's clear from the films that this ingeniously clumsy

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