Phyllis Christopher / Dark Room
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Phyllis Christopher’s fearless and tender photographs fuse lesbian sex and queer protest against the backdrop of a city in flux. Relocating to San Francisco from her hometown Buffalo in the late-1980s, Christopher began to collaborate with her subjects to make images in which documentary and performance converge. Dark Room brings together fifteen years of Christopher’s work, negotiating street, club, and studio, with camera in hand, to compose a portrait of a community simultaneously defining radical articulations of queer lesbian sexuality and defending its bodily autonomy in the face of right-wing politics, the AIDS crisis and urban gentrification. Reproducing photographs of startling intensity and sensuality alongside new writing by Susie Bright, Laura Guy, Michelle Tea and an interview with Shar Rednour, Dark Room is a heartfelt record of Christopher’s devotion to an analogue tradition, to the pleasures of photographs and the community that made them.
The Monograph coincides with Phyllis Christopher's exhibition Contacts (23rd October 2021 - 20th March 2022) at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Contacts is an intimate glimpse at lesbian community in San Francisco in the '90s through the archive of Christopher.
Contacts is curated by Laura Guy. 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.
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