SAQMI presents: a Del LaGrace Volcano retrospective

The artist and activist Del LaGrace Volcano (b. 1957 in California) dreamed early on about being a filmmaker and started out making Super-8 films about their working class step father building windmills and sister running for Rodeo Queen. Del’s first (art) job was as a theater photographer at PCPA (Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts) where their step-father volunteered as a set designer and bit player(extra). Del comes from a ”working, working class background” and is the first in the family to graduate from college. However as a scholarship student at the San Francisco Art Institute 1979-1981, (the same period as Susana Blausten Munoz) Del decided to choose photography as a major due to extremely limited financial circumstances. For the past 45 years the concept of ‘family’, queer and biological, their primary subject. While Del is considered one of the world’s pioneers in queer photography, visually re-presenting many of our favorite international queer, trans and intersex icons, they have also made over a dozen no budget films that have rarely or even never been screened. SAQMI has now digitized most of Del’s films and now, for the first time ever, we can see for ourselves, up close and very personal. Join us on a cinematic journey from the mid 80s until the mid-2000s.

The screening is a collaboration with SAQMI and is followed by a conversation with Del LaGrace Volcano.

WomYn… 1984 – The Year of The Rat WomYn
London, 1984, 10 min, Color, Silent, Original Format: Super-8
Filmed the morning after the night before a gaggle of dykes descend on Portobello Road in London to perform for Della Disgrace’s dystopian Super-8 sci fi fantasy about “the end of the world, when only the females of two species survive, rats and womyn”.

Preview: Intersex Files
London, 2000, 2 min, Color, Stereo, Original Format: DV8 Cam
Shorona and Lain Moreland talk about what it means to be intersex in a world determined to make the I invisible. Meant as a preview for The InterseX Files.

Gender Queer: Qu’est-Ce Que C’est? (directed with Cara Lavan)
London, 2005, 5:50 min, Color, Stereo, Original Format: DV
Del moves around London with a microphone and video camera looking people up and down to see what they can see. What is it that makes people so sure that they are either a man OR a woman? Predictable and surprising answers are revealed.

The Passionate Spectator
U.K. 2000, 10 min, Color, Stereo, Original: Super-8, Digitized DV cam
Locations: London, Turin and Copenhagen.
The Passionate Spectator is a lyrical and experimental film that uses a fragment of text from Baudelaire’s, The Painter of Modern Life, in three languages as a unifying structure. Based upon life of the late great Brixton Brady, flaneur extraordaire, as they move through a multitude of urban landscapes without a passport or purpose .

My Family A Work in Progress aka A Prodigal Son
California, 1999, 15 min, Color, Stereo, Original: DV cam
Del journeys back to the Central Coast of California for the first time since coming out as both intersex, gender-queer and trans in the mid 90s. The matriarchal family seat includes cousins, sisters, an adoring nephew and well as Del’s late mother and step-father. Hans Scheirl (from PPP) comes along for moral support and flirts with my mother!

Journey Intersex (directed with Cara Lavan)
UK, 1999, 26 min, Color, Stereo, Original: DV cam
Del travels to Seattle to meet their long lost cousin Heidi. Although Del has been warned to NOT reveal the family secret, that Heidi was thought to be a boy when she was born, Del ultimately decides it is immoral to keep the fact that Heidi has and intersex variation from her. Journey Intersex invites us to become part of the cousins process of discovery about what it means to have a body does not easily conform to either female or male.

Pan Sexual Public Porn AKA The Adventures of Hans & Del
UK, 1997, 12 min, Color, Stereo, Original Format: Super-8, Digitized from, DV
Del leads Hans and other queer friends into several gay male cruising grounds in southern England as they explore their newly gendered, trans-masculine bodies and see who they can persuade to have sex with them on camera, then and there. Seized by Customs in New Zealand in 1999 they released it the following year with a glowing recommendation that ‘this is a film New Zealand queers should see”!

Length: 85 min
Curator: Anna Linder, SAQMI
Digitized by: Pär Fridén, HDK Valand – Academy of Art and Design Gothenburg University, Mats Lundell and Karin Drake, SAQMI and Nina Boriri, Focus Film Stockholm.