Friend of the MIX community José Muñoz passed away of heart failure shortly after last year’s festivities, at the age of 46. We first worked with José in 1996 when he curated a program called Queer Performances, Queer Projections. In the words of Peter Cramer and Jack Waters, whose film Black & White Study: The Dance screened as part of this curation, “José brought MIX’s performance to academic attention, thereby creating a language for the critical elite to speak about raw edged queer art and culture.”
It’s José’s work in the world of academia for which he is most known; he spent much of this time with New York University’s Tisch School, where he was a professor of Performance Studies. He published many notable books over the years, including Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics (1999) and Cruising Utopia: the Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009).
MIX NYC will always be grateful for José’s brilliant mind and friendship.
Peter De Rome (1924 – 2014)
Born in Juan les Pins, France in 1924, Peter de Rome emigrated to New York in the 1950s after serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He became known for his gay erotic art films, shot on home movie cameras and developed commercially. Though his work was familiar to the likes of David Hockney, Derek Jarman and Andy Warhol, he never had their commercial following. His work experienced a resurgence in recent years, culminating in international presentations of his work and retrospective releases by the British Film Institute. His work is recognized as some of the first and most innovative gay erotic image-making.
“De Rome’s playful vision of gay life has no real counterpart. There is none of the obligatory punishment or suicide which the cinema seemed to demand of the limited range of gay subjects then available on film.” —Brian Robinson
Barbara De Genevieve (1947 – 2014)
Barbara DeGenevieve was an artist and professor who had a profound impact on many of MIX’s filmmakers. She is most known for a body of work that relentlessly challenged conventional boundaries obeyed by most artists of her day, even those who identified as leftist and politically engaged. Her devotion to honesty in her work haunted her life, in an artistic culture rife with self-censorship and market complacency: her 1994 NEA grant was overturned due to persecution from the political right. Still, works such as “Porn Poetry” and “The Panhandler Project” stand as testaments to her exploration of human sexuality, as well as issues of class, race, and humanism.
“…while she pushed at that arbitrary line of propriety (often crossing it), her practice was always grounded in central questions of power and class, and her work and actions were always statements about artistic liberty against a tide of legal and moral rulings.” — Lisa Wainwright