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Video Art  
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Richard Fung's Sea in the Blood (2000) documents the artist's relationship with his dying sister, the only family member to whom he came out. Fung relates his sister's leukemia to his partner's battle with AIDS. Often glbtq artists, such as Bordowitz and Sandi DuBowski, focus on the decision whether or not to come out to family members.

Documentary Video

A subcategory of both glbtq video art and mainstream video art is documentary. Some queer video artists go beyond the satirically artful work of artists such as Bordowitz to document important glbtq issues, such as AIDS awareness, or cultural expressions, such as performance art, in more straightforward documentaries.

Notable among these artists are Maria Beatty and Ellen Spiro. In Party Safe with DiAna and Bambi (1992), Spiro concentrates on safe sex practices for males and females, gay and straight. Specifically, she documents a national safe sex party tour by two women from Columbia, South Carolina.


Queer video artists are not easily categorized because they explore diverse issues, often in diverse styles. However, because video art can be such a personally expressive medium, queer video artists frequently focus on subject matter directly concerned with the queer experience.

Brandon Hayes
Staci Nicholson

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arts >> Overview:  American Art: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, American gay male art underwent a radical transformation as artists came out and began to treat gay themes openly and directly.

arts >> Overview:  American Art: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall

Since Stonewall, lesbian artists in America, from installation artists to filmmakers and photographers to performance artists and painters, have become increasingly diverse and visible.

arts >> Overview:  Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art, which designates new currents in art since 1970, is identified with postmodernism; during this period an art addressing gay and lesbian identity emerged.

social sciences >> ACT UP

Using bold images and confrontational tactics, ACT UP worked to promote awareness of AIDS and challenge the complacency of politicians and government officials in the early years of the epidemic.

arts >> Blake, Nayland

Versatile African-American artist Nayland Blake creates--in a variety of media--work that reflects his preoccupation with his racial and sexual identities.

arts >> Wojnarowicz, David

The first gay American artist to respond to the AIDS crisis with anger and moral outrage, David Wojnarowicz used his art as a polemical tool with which to indict those he held responsible for the AIDS epidemic and to document his own suffering.


Hill, Chris, ed. Rewind: Video Art and Alternative Media in the United States 1968-1980. Chicago: Video Data Bank, 1996.

Holden, Stephen. "When and How AIDS Activism Finally Found Its Voice and Power." New York Times (December 1, 2000): B16.

Spaulding, Karen Lee, ed. Being & Time: The Emergence of Video Projection. Buffalo: The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, 1996.

Rush, Michael. New Media in 20th Century Art. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1999.


    Citation Information
    Author: Hayes, Brandon ; Nicholson, Staci  
    Entry Title: Video Art  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated June 22, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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