Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis

Sat, June 2, 2007 9pm

If Portland’s Sissyboy troupe can trace its gender-rebel ancestry back to San Francisco’s Cockettes, ultimately that lineage leads directly back to legendary New York artist, Jack Smith.

Underground filmmaker, photographer, �father of performance art�, penniless anti-capitalist, and fabulous mad queen, Jack Smith was a central and controversial figure of New York’s creative underground until his death from AIDS in 1989. His seminal, though largely forgotten, work from the 1960s influenced Warhol, John Waters, Fellini, and countless others who have subsequently made their own impact on American (counter)culture.

Smith’s notoriety came with his 1963 film Flaming Creatures which was banned as �obscene,� leading to a Supreme Court battle. A baroque, genderfuck fantasmagoria of torn gowns and dumpster glamour, Flaming Creatures embodied Smith’s fascination with cheesy Hollywood exotica re-imagined through an avant-garde and utterly queer prism.

Mary Jordan’s visually spectacular film utilizes Smith’s films, photos, and audio recordings, and interviews with artists such as John Waters, Warhol luminaries Taylor Mead and Holly Woodlawn, writer Gary Indiana, musician John Zorn, and many others to capture the eclectic personality and influence of Jack Smith.

JACK SMITH AND THE DESTRUCTION OF ATLANTIS: Dir Mary Jordan USA 2006 94 min.
Sponsored By: Witham & Dickey
Community Partners: Northwest Film Center & Portland Institute for Contemporary Art