Monday, October 6, 2014, 6-8pm
A program of “We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death”: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996)
Queer Kinship: Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Rubin, and Underground Cinema of the 1960s
Talk and Screening featuring Ara Osterweil
Moving between poetry, underground cinema, and political protest, Allen Ginsberg was a central figure of the counterculture. Much lesser known, Barbara Rubin was a drug-addled teenage dropout who made what may be the most sexually explicit American film of the 1960s. Their deeply queer friendship not only epitomized the ethos of sixties radicalism, but had a profound impact on the art and poetry worlds. Ara Osterweil from McGill University will present a short talk on Ginsberg’s role in avant-garde film from the 1960s, followed by a screening of Barbara Rubin’s landmark psychedelic extravaganza “Christmas on Earth” (1963, 30 mins). Played simultaneously on two 16mm projectors to a “live” radio soundtrack, this orgiastic experimental film will introduce viewers to a remarkable and confounding figure otherwise unseen in Ginsberg’s photographic archive.
Ara Osterweil is an Assistant Professor of Film and Cultural Studies at McGill University, as well as a painter. She has written extensively on cinema in journals such as Film Quarterly, Camera Obscura, Millennium Film Journal, and Framework. Her book Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Turn in American Avant-Garde Film (Manchester University Press) was released this year.
University of Toronto Art Centre