Critical Writing Index

Screen Scene: 'Crossdressing' series at ICA

by Betsy Sherman

The Boston Globe, May 13, 1993, v. 19, no. 29

Boston Globe columnist Betsy Sherman previews three programs in the film and video series Undressing Crossdressing, which screened alongside the ICA's Currents 93: Dress Codes. Created by a women's group called Fishnet, the series as a whole looks at the issues of female identity and the body as playground and canvas as a platform for this identity. The films in programs like Sapphic Drag: 100 Years of Penis Envy react against traditional masculine and feminine constructions of identity: Leigh Grode's Outcasts explores the brutality suffered by lesbians in Nazi concentration camps while Storme, the Lady of the Jewel Box by Michelle Parkerson traces the history of women taking on male attire via former dame of the New York Jewel Box Revue, a drag show of the 1940s-1960s. Programs like The Social Body: Technology and Stigmata and Rebels, Irreverance and Girl Power tackle personal issues of female-to-male transexuals and larger, political and cultural issues like the Riot Grrrl punk scene, featuring filmmakers like Sadie Benning and G.B. Jones.

ITEM 1993.130 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

OutcastsLeigh Grode

Storme, the Lady of the Jewel BoxMichelle Parkerson

Earthly PossessionsPelle Lowe

I Would Not Like to Be a ManErnst Lubitsch

Flaming EarsAngela Hans Scheirl

Linda/Les and AnnieAlbert Jacoma

Linda/Les and AnnieJohnny Armstrong

Linda/Les and AnnieAnnie Sprinkle

StigmataLeslie Asako Gladsjo

Yo Yo GangG.B. Jones

Girl PowerSadie Benning