Before Times Square became a militantly bland cornucopia of Shake Shacks, Starbucks, Sephoras, Disney stores, and Skechers shops, it was a place of achingly sleazy beauty, filled with all manner of hustlers, riffraff, XXX boothstores, and porn theaters as far as the pink-eye could see.
Beginning today, September 29th, Dirty Look will mount (eh?) Sesión Continua, a “roving 24-hour queer porn theater.” Showtime begins at 11:59 p.m. at Video Revival, a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn.
As ArtNews reports, the exhibition pays homage to both gay and lesbian, pre-VHS porno films, with no set schedule for features (as was the case with old school porno emporiums.)
“You walked in,” Dirty Looks founder Bradford Nordeen tells Art News. “There was no listing of what title was being shown. You just saw what was playing.”
The project aspires to recreate a social space that’s steadily disappearing from major cities, alongside bathhouses and gayborhoods. Nordeen believes these places had major cultural significance, seeing as porno films featured some of the very first examples of queer representation.
“They became the main approachable commercial format that queer people could use to document their life,” he tells Art News. “It was a cinema that filled the screen for an inordinate amount of time with various bodies engaging in beauty. This is where they saw themselves on screen.”
He wants Sesión Continua to be “still staying true to what people think of with Dirty Looks, and embellishing that with the pornographic space we’re trying to create. . . . Instead of treating it like a film festival, we wanted to treat it as a free-flowing space not having ownership over what you see.”
You can expect a XXX take on Hellraiser, a pornographic Edgar Allan Poe feature, a beach-blankety double feature, and “lezpoitation” films galore.
“There shouldn’t be a minute where someone walks into this theater and feels bored,” Nordeen says.
Afterwards, you can pop by Club Bijou on 82 East 4th Street to experience the real thing. We’ll be the ones eerily beckoning to you from the cubby on the far left. See you there.