Headlands Center for the Arts

Greg Youmans

washington | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2016

Artist Statement

I am interested in queer people’s efforts to communicate with and understand each other across identities and generations. In particular, I love comical failures of communication as well as unexpected sparks of connection. I often exploit the former in my creative work, including the video series Falling in Love…with Chris and Greg that I made with Chris Vargas from 2008 to 2013. In my more scholarly work, I mainly research and write about the 1970s, particularly queer activist filmmaking of the era, and I ground this work in cross-generational conversations between myself and an older cohort of artists and activists.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I will work on Elsa Gidlow: Harvest of Years, a book project about the life, work, and community of the pioneering lesbian poet (b. 1898–d. 1986) who spent the last half of her life at Druid Heights, an artist colony near Mill Valley. This work is grounded in interviews with people who knew Elsa, research in local archives, and visits to her home (which is in a state of decay, as seen above). I am looking forward to meditating on all of this material and turning it into as beautiful and illuminating a book as I can. During the residency, I may also work on a second writing project: a series of short stories about the trials and tribulations of queer education.

Selected Video

Falling in Love…with Chris and Greg: Hair Breakdown Special, 2009; video, 4 min.

Work of Art! Reality TV Special, 2012; video, 14 min.

Selected Texts

Performing Essentialism: Reassessing Barbara Hammer’s Films of the 1970s (453.06K)
Camera Obscura 81, 2012.

Living on the Edge: Recent Queer Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area (668.43K)
eFlux 44, April 2013.

Personal Website