Queer|Art|Film: Martine Gutierrez presents SHOWGIRLS [Q&A]

September 16, 2019 Martine Gutierrez presents SHOWGIRLS – – – SHOWGIRLS 1995. 131 min. Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Nomi Malone is running from her past and chasing stardom as a showgirl in Las Vegas. She finds her way through “a…

Queer|Art|Film: Martine Gutierrez presents SHOWGIRLS [Q&A]

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September 16, 2019

Martine Gutierrez presents SHOWGIRLS



SHOWGIRLS
1995. 131 min. Directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Nomi Malone is running from her past and chasing stardom as a showgirl in Las Vegas. She finds her way through “a tornado of thrusting and rhinestones” navigating the dance world’s dark underbelly of misogyny and exploitation. Guest presenter and visual artist Martine Gutierrez describes this box-office-flop-turned-cult-classic as a “sexy, sexy mystery,” oozing with campy excess and a glittery dash of film noir. A capital-d Diva armed in “Versayce,” Nomi is aggressive in her sexuality, gender performativity, and ambition. Gutierrez reflects on how Nomi’s dreams push her to obscene extremes, asking us to consider: Is it possible to over-realize a world?



Martine Gutierrez on SHOWGIRLS

“I remember watching SHOWGIRLS for the first time and feeling like it was a classic example of something, an epitome of everything––being given so much of what you want, to the point where it becomes obscene. If it is possible to over-realize a world, does the indulgence negate the authenticity of the characters within it? These are points that dawned on me after the fact. The impact was always Nomi Malone, the aggression of her sexuality, her drag, her camp––which essentially was just too much glamour. In a tornado of thrusting and rhinestones, too punk to be diamonds, was Nomi, surrounded by male characters all with disguised intentions to manipulate her, all inconsequential. SHOWGIRLS always felt like a French film in that our leading lady exits the frame as much a mystery as she entered. SHOWGIRLS was nothing more than a postcard, a reminder of Nomi’s own escape from her past. A document of mystery, a sexy sexy mystery.”



Q|A|F FALL 2019

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth,” says Velvet Goldmine’s Brian Slade, quoting Oscar Wilde. Chicas y Fantasmas—a special season of Queer|Art|Film organized by guest curators Vivian Crockett, Camilo Godoy, and Carlos Motta—explores the shells we inhabit to move through the world. Presented by four contemporary Latinx artists, the season assembles a fierce ensemble of showgirls, cyborgs, glam rockers, and two Chicana teens who defy gendered expectations, ableist norms, and society’s limitations to actualize their own self-constructed identities and shape a vision of the world in which they want to live.

Queer|Art|Film is presented by HBO
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