Spermwhore at BAK Utrecht

Spermwhore at BAK – Basis Voor Actuele Kunst in Utrecht

During Utrecht Pride, BAK presents a queer film program as part of Wild ‘n Sweet Festival at TivoliVredenburg on 1 June from 21 to 3 hrs. A second presentation takes place at BAK on 2 June from 12 to 18 hrs.

The queer film program covers a variety of topics: gender history, exceptional stories of queer individuals, a proposal to UNESCO to make a gay cruising area in Istanbul a World Heritage Site, an examination of what sex and intimacy means, and the program showcases outspoken and political choices by several protagonists. From experimental black-and-white films and 16mm film, to high-tech glossy and glitter, all film styles are part of the program.

Films include: Deseos by Carlos Motta; School of Lovers by melanie bonajo; Spermwhore by Anna Linder; Sisters! by Barbara Hammer; Queer Fighters of Ukraine by Angelika Ustymenko; El jardín de los faunos by Pol Merchan, Cruising by Nadir Sönmez; Reluctantly Queer by Akosua Adoma Owusu.

All filmmakers: Zach Blas, melanie bonajo, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Barbara Hammer, Su Hui-Yu, Anna Linder, Pol Merchan, Carlos Motta, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Nadir Sönmez, Nick Tyson & Catarina de Sousa, Angelika Ustymenko, Jinxiao Zhou.

More about the program:

Films
Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033 (2018)
Zach Blas
30’51”
A re-imagining of scenes from filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 1978 queer punk film Jubilee, starring Susanne Sachsse and Cassils, that confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism.

Deseos (2015)
Carlos Motta
32’37”
Deseos / رغبات (Desires) exposes the ways in which medicine, law, religion, and cultural tradition shaped dominant discourses of the gendered and sexual body through the narration of two parallel stories.

Queer Fighter of Ukraine (2024)
Angelika Ustymenko
29’
A document of the experiences of queer Ukrainians during wartime. Queer soldiers’ reflections after a year of war, and broadening the focus to include other forms of queer resistance.

The Art of Loving Ourselves – Compassionate Our Erotic Selves (2023)
No sound
Jinxiao Zhou
8’
This soundless film combines scroll paintings, letter writing, and an edible lollipop installation. Jinxiao Zhou encourages dialogue and acceptance of diverse erotic identities, inviting viewers to embrace and explore their own complexities with self-love and self-understanding.

Toxic (2013)
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz
13’
Toxic explores ideas of the toxic, and of toxicity – substances and people that threaten and destabilize conventional notions of purity. A punk figure in glitter and a drag queen, both of unclear gender and origin.

Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS (1986)
Barbara Hammer
7’42”
“I examined the public ignorance, stigmatization, and just plain wrong attitudes towards this new illness. By making a snow storm of newspaper clippings I could show what a ‘snow job’ the media was making.” — Barbara Hammer

Cruising (2024)
Nadir Sönmez
6’22”
A letter to UNESCO claims preservation for gay sex culture in an anonymous cruising area in İstanbul. An ethnography of masculine desire in darkness.

School of Lovers (2024)
melanie bonajo
38’46”
A humorous, sensitive, empowering, genre- and gender bending experience that speaks to people with and without disabilities. Learn about topics of love, intimacy and sexuality. School of Lovers is a cross-genre art and education project realized by melanie bonajo, Daniel Cremer, and Yanna Rüger in collaboration with the inclusive Theater HORA.

Sisters! (1973)
Barbara Hammer
8’25”
Sisters! is a joyous and vital landmark in feminist, queer, and lesbian filmmaking. Footage from the first Women’s International Day march in San Francisco and rare footage of the second National Lesbian Conference at UCLA.

Spermwhore (2016)
Anna Linder
12’26”
A queer experimental film about unwanted childlessness in a world where normative heterosexual relationships dictate who can become parents and in what way. The longing for children is not limited to our bodies, and the possibility of pregnancy can be gifted, shared and undertaken together.

Reluctantly Queer (2016)
Akosua Adoma Owusu
8’22”
In a letter to his mother, a young Ghanaian immigrant writes frankly about his love for her, but in more guarded terms about his love for men.

El Jardin de los Faunos (2022)
Pol Merchan
24’09”
Romantic and sharply provocative, El jardín de los Faunos is an intimate portrait of a man who devoted his life to love and freedom, amplifying queer culture in a country still discovering its freedom after Franco’s dictatorship.

The Glamerous Boys of Tang (2018)
Su Hui-Yu
15’
A moody slow-motion pan captures a wild, glitter-scattered, blood-splattered orgy during the Tang dynasty. An invocation of scenes from the 1985 Taiwanese cult film Tang Chao Chi Li that only existed as the screenplay.

Boran (2022)
Nadir Sönmez
13’54”
From the perspective of a tourist flirting with being a participant-observant anthropologist, the narrator makes an autobiographic commentary on solidarity, networking and sex in gay culture. The poetry of black and white elevates his hook-up with Boran to the romantic status of a heterosexual honeymoon memory.

Tracing Utopia (2021)
Nick Tyson and Catarina de Sousa
26’09”
A group of teenagers discuss their ideas of a queer utopia. They build online safe spaces within a popular video game and create a manifesto for a more equal and just world where everyone can be their true self.