The Haus of Bruce LaBruce curated by Bren O’Callaghan
The first UK solo show by Canadian underground adult film director, photographer, performer, writer and queer provocateur, The Haus of Bruce LaBruce leads with the world-premiere of unseen photo series and creative responses by artistic partners. Drawing upon the likes of female dungeon mistresses in Los Angeles, the infamous Obcenity series combining religious and sexual ecstasy, and gore-splattered gonzo motel shoots. From collaborations with Danni Daniels and François Sagat, to jewellery by Jonathan Johnson, collages of early photo sets by Damien Blottière and portraiture from LaBruce’s latest feature, The Misandrists, featuring recurring muse Susanne Sachße and performance icon Kembra Pfahler. Selected archival content draws upon such cult adult classics as No Skin Off My Ass (1991), Hustler White (1996), Otto; or, Up With Dead People (2008) and L.A. Zombie (2010), featuring Ron Athey, Tony Ward and a stable of LaBrucian reprobates. Presented in the intimate, labyrinthine warren of Gallery 46 – two stripped Georgian terraces spanning 3 floors and 8 rooms in Whitechapel, London, a programme of special events features a responsive live art series, screening of rare short films, artist Q&A.
“The show is comprised partly of a somewhat retrospective look at my photographic work, which has run parallel to my cinematic output, including newly retrieved work from my photo archive, and new work that has not previously been displayed. It’s a heady mixture of sex, cinema, gore, gorn, fetish, and fantasy, a chance to share some of my kinky visual obsessions to an unsuspecting London public. You won’t want to miss it! xxx“
For over a quarter-century the auteur/provocateur known as Bruce LaBruce has been disrupting, dissecting, and disrobing in the name of cinema. Blasted into the demimonde of underground punk moviemaking with his feature debut, No Skin Off My Ass, LaBruce quickly established that, while he was certainly game for exploring the messy, sticky zones of fringe film, he was actually the unholy product of arthouse auteurism. From Robert Altman to Federico Fellini and Werner Herzog, LaBruce mines the sacred texts of the canon and inserts his own revolutionary gay-sex-positive narratives. Layered with scathing wit and a fundamental rejection of capitalist control over the mind and body, his films take to task the mainstream porn industry as well as Hollywood. In this spirit, he has collaborated with actors—like Slava Mogutin, Tony Ward, and Francois Sagat—who swing between art and commerce, fashion and filth, the avant-garde and the boulevard. Bruce LaBruce’s particular brand of regal queer fecundity has spawned a generation of feral filmmakers (and ravenous audiences) willing to go a step beyond where Jack Smith, John Waters, and Andy Warhol brought us.
LaBruce has written not one but two premature memoirs; The Reluctant Pornographer (Gutter Press, 1999) and The Porn Diaries: How To Succeed In Hardcore Without Really Trying (Editions Moustache, 2016), and has had two books published about his work: Ride, Queer, Ride, from Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg, and Bruce(x)ploitation, a monograph from his Italian distributor, Atlantide Entertainment. LaBruce has contributed to a variety of international magazines, newspapers and websites as both a writer and photographer, including index magazine, for which he also acted as a contributing editor, Vice, The National Post, Purple Fashion, The Guardian UK, and many others. He maintains a frequent and erudite blog on forgotten and discarded cinema. (MOMA)
Bruce LaBruce / Damien Blottiere / Jonathan Johnson / Katy Baird