Events > Publication Launch

19 May 2007

Double Dutch launch party for Girls Like Us and Butt Magazine

Artists
Stephen Ellwood, Erwin Olaf, Bruce LaBruce, Donatien Veismann, and Ryan Stec
Performers
JD Samson and Will Munro
Time
10 pm
Offsite Location
Amsterdam Brewery, 21 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON

Art Metropole and The Inside Out Festival join forces for a blow-out evening celebrating the spring launch of Amsterdam-based queer mags Girls Like Us (GLU editors Kathrin Hero and Jessica Gysel will be in attendance) and Butt Magazine, featuring Stephen Ellwood’s ad art for Art Metropole. Art Metropole will be selling these latest issues and other books in a special One Night Stand Boutique. In addition to all that, we are featuring the audio and video of the following artists:

Live Performances and DJs:

JD Samson (NYC)
Will Munro
The Scandelles
Mikiki
and special fuzzy guests!

Videos:

Erwin Olaf (Amsterdam)
Bruce Labruce (Toronto/LA)
Donatien Veismann (Paris) later remixed live by Ryan Stec (Ottawa)

The Dutch capital has always been at the forefront of radical queer culture and we salute it with a party that would make it blush. Please join us on May 19, 2007 @ 10pm at The Amsterdam Brewery at 21 Bathurst St. for Double Dutch!!!

Tickets are available in advance at Art Metropole and Rotate This: $15 advance / $20 door


Born in 1973, Stephen Ellwood lives and works in New York.

Ellwood’s work uses language as a means for creating narratives and indexes in various formats, including video, books, posters, cards, wall works, and temporary installations. Typeset or handwritten on the wall, the words double as drawings, using language as a stand-in, and freestanding narratives, gleaned from hermetic and social experiences.

JD Samson (born August 4, 1978) is the stage name of Jocelyn Samson, an American musician, producer, songwriter and DJ best known as a member of the bands Le Tigre and MEN. Samson grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike, Ohio and attended Orange High School. She came out as a lesbian at age 15 and is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes. Samson graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000 with a degree in film.

William Grant “Will” Munro (February 11, 1975 – May 21, 2010) was a Toronto artist, club promoter, and restaurateur known for his work as a community builder among disparate Toronto groups. As a visual artist, he was known for fashioning artistic works out of underwear; as a club promoter, he was best known for his long-running Toronto queer club night, Vazaleen.

(from wikipedia)

Born in Australia, Munro grew up mostly in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and moved to nearby Toronto to study at the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 2000. Influenced by such artists as General Idea and the queercore movement, he received critical attention for his work with men’s underwear, a medium he used eventually to create collages of colourful performers he admired such as Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery. He created silkscreen posters to advertise Vazaleen—his monthly nightclub party that was unusual for being a queer event where punk and other rock music was prominently played, and for being one of the first to exist beyond the confines of the gay ghetto. The party was known for attracting a diverse crowd, and at its peak brought in such performers as Nina Hagen; international “best-of” nightclub lists took notice.

Munro died of brain cancer in May 2010. Posthumous exhibits of his art work included a 2010 show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and in 2011 he was the first male artist to be featured in the feminist Montreal art gallery La Centrale.

Will Munro was born in Sydney, Australia in 1975. Later that year his family moved to Canada, just outside of Montreal, and then lived in Mississauga, Ontario from 1980 onwards.

Despite his involvement in nightclub events, Munro did not consume alcohol or recreational drugs. He was a vegan from a young age. For many years, he volunteered as a peer counsellor at the Toronto Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, where an annual award was established in his honour after his death.

Munro was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery to remove a tumour in 2008. A second surgery was performed in October 2009. He entered into palliative care in April 2010, and died on May 21, 2010.

Munro moved from Mississauga to Toronto after high school, to attend the Ontario College of Art (OCA). From early on in his career, his signature medium was pastiche work with men’s underwear.The origins of this work date back to his Intro to Sculpture class at OCA, where his professor asked the students to “bring a special object to class that isn’t really functional, but is special to you.” Munro had long had an affinity for special underwear, ever since his mother had refused to buy him Underoos superhero underwear when he was a child; regarding white briefs, he said, “They were clinical and sterile. They weren’t very sexy. It just felt very repressed. I wanted Underoos so bad.” For the sculpture class, Munro decided to bring in a pair of underwear that he had stolen from a high school friend on whom he had a crush. He put the grey underwear on display in a Plexiglass cage, complete with air holes. In his subsequent work he decided to use white briefs as a medium “because they were so accessible.” The summer after his sculpture class, to keep himself busy on a road trip, he made a quilt out of white underwear. In 1997, his first show involving underwear was held in a gallery supported by his college. The show received publicity after conservative columnist Michael Coren, in the Toronto Sun and on the radio, criticized Munro and his show, in particular for having said that it involved “boys’ underwear” (although Munro had simply meant guys’ underwear). Coren asked the public to bring dirty diapers to the exhibit, but no one did.10 Munro went on to have many showings of his underwear art, mostly “rescued” from second-hand Goodwill clothing outlets, including at Who’s Emma, HEADspace, and Paul Petro Contemporary Art. Actor Selma Blair bought one of Munro’s underwear works when she was in town for the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.

Munro’s influences included the work of General Idea, and the queercore movement.Speaking about the confluence of his music events and his art, Munro said in 2004, “This is where the music scene and gay underground come together. We’re at a time when all kinds of shifts are happening. The structure of artists’ galleries are changing. Magazines are changing. There’s more different kinds of artist activity that’s happening. All this is having an impact on my visual work. And my visual work is more and more going into performance.” Galleries exhibiting his work have included Art in General, in New York City, Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, and Toronto galleries Zsa Zsa, Mercer Union, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of York University. Munro was named on the longlist of finalists for the Sobey Art Award in 2010.

A posthumous exhibit of his work, “Total Eclipse”, was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2010.Works included collages, made from underwear, that depict Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery, both of whom Munro admired.Reviewing the show in Canadian Art, critic Sholem Krishtalka wrote that Munro’s work is “insistent on the necessity of self-made culture and buttressed by an encyclopedic knowledge of queer underground cultural history.”

Other posthumous exhibitions of his work include a 2011 show at the feminist La Centrale gallery in Montreal—a first for a male artist in that space—and in 2012 a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of York University.

Munro started the monthly party Vaseline (later renamed Vazaleen) in Toronto at a time when most gay clubs featured house music or other types of dance music. His hope was to draw a more diverse crowd: he said at the time, “I’d like to do something that’ll encompass all the freaks out there, myself included.” In addition to its stereotype-countering incorporation of punk and other rock music, his club night was also noted to be unusual for being located outside of the Church and Wellesley gay neighbourhood. It was atypical as well for having about 50 percent women attending the event. Munro said, “I was determined to get women to attend and I did it in a really simple way. I put lots of images of women and dyke icons on the posters and flyers—groups like The Runaways or singers like Nina Hagen and Carole Pope. I wanted women to know instantly that this was their space as much as anybody else’s.” It began in the downstairs space at El Mocambo in late 1999, moved to the upstairs space in January 2000, and in late 2001, when El Mocambo was threatening to close, to Lee’s Palace, where it continued as a monthly event until 2006.

In a lengthy article about Vazaleen in Toronto Life, critic R. M. Vaughan wrote, “In its lewd, spontaneous, hysterical and glamorous way, Vazaleen defined a new Toronto aesthetic, a playful and endlessly inventive mode of presentation that encompassed everything from lesbian prog- rock to tranny camp to vintage punk revival to good old-fashioned loud-mouthed drag.” In an editorial in C magazine, Amish Morrell wrote, “At [Vazaleen] it was not only okay to be gay, but it was okay to be other than gay. One could be just about anything. The effect was that it completely destabilized all preconceptions of gender and sexual identity, in a hyperlibidinous environment where everyone became a performer.” Benjamin Boles of Now wrote, “These days it’s normal in Toronto for hip gay scenes to flourish outside of the queer ghetto and to attract a wide spectrum of genders and orientations, but that didn’t really happen until Vazaleen took off and became a veritable community for everyone who didn’t fit into the mainstream homo world. For too long, it was too rare to see dykes, fags, trans people, and breeders hanging out together, and Munro changed that.” Vazaleen became a launching pad for such musical acts as Peaches and Lesbians on Ecstasy. Other bands performing at Vazaleen early in their careers were The Hidden Cameras, Crystal Castles, and The Gossip. At the height of the event’s popularity, Munro appeared on the cover of Now magazine (made up to look similar to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover), musical guests included Carole Pope, Tracy + the Plastics, Vaginal Davis, and Nina Hagen, and Vazaleen appeared on “best-of” nightclub lists internationally.

Munro produced other Toronto club nights such as Peroxide, which featured electro music, No T. O., which showcased No Wave, Seventh Heaven Dream Disco, and the amateur stripper party Moustache. In 2006, Munro and his friend Lynn MacNeil bought The Beaver Café, in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Arts columnist Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star wrote, “Will’s virtual status as hub took bricks-and-mortar form: The Beaver quickly became that cozy, everyone-in-the-pool house party, a sort of community hall/mini dance club, and an alt-culture oasis”. “Love Saves the Day” became Munro’s dance music night at The Beaver, which he continued to organize even as his illness began to prevent him from leaving home. His final night of DJing in person was at a special Halloween Vazaleen party at Lee’s Palace in 2009.

Bruce LaBruce wrote of Munro’s impact on Toronto, just prior to his death: “As we all know, Toronto can be a cruel and unforgiving city. What makes Will Munro so extraordinary as an artist and as a person is that he has not only remained true to such a harsh mistress, but that he has also contributed so substantially to the fabric and heft of this often maleficent metropolis. His dedication to community work (including volunteering for a decade at an LGBT youth crisis hotline) and to creating social and sexual stimulation for the queer community outside the decaying gay ghetto (namely, his wonderfully raunchy club night, Vazaleen, and his participation as a founding partner in revitalizing the Beaver Café) is unmatched.

Erwin Olaf (Erwin Olaf Springveld) (born June 2, 1959 Hilversum, Netherlands) is a Dutch photographer.

Olaf is most famous for his commercial and personal work. He has been commissioned to photograph advertising campaigns for large international companies such as Levi’s, Microsoft and Nokia. Some of his most famous photographic series include Grief, Rain, and Royal Blood. Never one to shy away from controversy, Olaf’s work is often daring and provocative. Humorously however, one of his early photographs was once expelled from a show on the basis of not containing nudity.

His work has received many awards and he has held exhibitions around the world.

Olaf studied journalism in the School of Journalism in Utrecht. His work is shown in galleries and museums all around the world, for example at Flatland Gallery, Utrecht; Hasted Hunt, New York; Hamiltons Gallery, London; Galerie Magda Danysz, Paris; Gallery Espacio Minimo, Madrid ; and many others.

Bruce LaBruce is a Toronto based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid eighties making a series of short experimental super 8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has directed and starred in three feature length movies, No Skin Off My Ass (1991), Super 8 1/2 (1994), and Hustler White (1996). More recently he has directed two art/porn features, Skin Flick(2000)(hardcore version: Skin Gang) and The Raspberry Reich (2004)(hardcore version: The Revolution Is My Boyfriend), and the independent feature Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008). After premiering at Sundance and Berlin, “The Raspberry Reich” took off on the international film festival circuit, playing at over 150 festivals, including the Istanbul, Guadalajara, and Rio de Janeiro International Film Festivals. He was also honoured with retrospectives at the end of ’05 at the Madrid and Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals. Otto; or, Up with Dead People also debuted at Sundance and Berlin and played at over 150 film festivals, culminating in a screening at MoMA in New York City in November of 2008. His new film, L.A. Zombie, starring French star Francois Sagat, premiered in competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in August, 2010. It will have it’s French premier at the L’Etrange Film Festival in Paris and its North American premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in Septemer. 2010. The hardcore version, L.A. Zombie Hardcore, will be released at Halloween, 2010.

LaBruce has written a premature memoir entitled The Reluctant Pornographer, from Gutter Press. The Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg, Canada published a book on LaBruce’s work, Ride Queer Ride, in 1998. In the past several years, LaBruce has written and directed three theatrical productions. Cheap Blacky (2007) and The Bad Breast; or, The Strange Case of Theda Lange (2009) were both produced at the Hau 2 and featured Susanne Sachsse and Vaginal Davis. Macho Family Romance (2009), commissioned by Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, also featured Ms. Sachsse and Ms. Davis. LaBruce was a contributing editor and frequent writer and photographer for Index magazine, and he has also been a regular contributor to Eye and Exclaim magazines, Dutch, Vice, the National Post, Nerve.com. and Black Book. He was also formerly a frequent photographer for the US porn mags Honcho and Inches, and has recently contributed to Butt, Kink, Jack, Currency, Kaiserin, and Slurp. As a fashion photographer he has contributed stories to such magazines as Dazed and Confused, Bon, Tank, Tetu, Fake, Attitude, Blend, Tokion, Purple Fashion, and the National Post.

LaBruce had his first solo show of photographs presented by the Alleged Gallery in New York in December 1999. He has had subsequent solo exhibits of his photographs at the Pitt Gallery in Vancouver, MC MAGMA in Milano, Italy, Bailey Fine Arts Gallery in Toronto, Peres Projects in San Francisco, and at John Connelly Presents in New York. His show Heterosexuality Is the Opiate of the Masses opened on July 16th/05 at Peres Projects in Los Angeles. In July/06 he mounted Polaroid Rage: A Survey of Polaroids, 2000-2006 at Gallery 1313 in Toronto. He has also participated in numerous group shows. In October of 2006 he was the featured artist at the Barcelona International Erotic Festival. His latest solo shows include Untitled Hardcore Zombie Project, which opened at Peres Projects in Culver City, LA, on May 23rd, 2009, and L.A. Zombie: The Movie That Would Not Die, which premiered at Peres Projects Berlin on January 30th, 2010. LaBruce has also made a number of popular music videos in Canada, two of which won him MuchMusic video awards.

Ryan Stec is a Winnipeg born/Ottawa based media artist and curator working in documentary and experimental forms. Stec has been experimenting with live video for the last 6 years, producing mixes, performances and visual design for a wide range of art events, media arts festivals, club nights, parties and even the countries second largest folk festival. He has made his visual mark on the now legendary JIZZ! parties at Galerie SAW Gallery, Inside Out Festival in Toronto, New Forms Festival in Vancouver and most recently with Ottawa’s brightest electronic producers and DJs – Jokers of the Scene. Check out the recent video remix created for the JOTS Remix of The Lake by Muscles.

As a curator Stec has produced one of the only media art commissioning program in Ottawa, Remix (2002-2006), presented by SAW Video, the Available Light Screening Collective, Platform Gallery in Vaasa Finland, and Art Star, Galerie SAW Gallery Video Art Biennial. His experimental work has been presented in both single channel and installation forms such as the itch, included in the Ottawa Art Gallery’s 2005 show My Culture Includes My Scene. He has completed two full-length documentary projects, the second of which, Bastard, premiered with the Canadian Film Institute (2004).

Stec is currently Artengine’s Artistic Director, where he recently oversaw the Superfan project, which commissioned 5 works for installation in various sports bars in Ottawa.

Images

1: Friends of Lee.
2: Crowds enjoying the scene.
3: Steamy dancing and uniform accessories.
4: A display of strict dress code in effect.
5: Lex Vaughn with JD Samson.
6: Two's a couple three's a group and more's a party!.
7: Exhibit A.
8: Friendly folks havin' a good time.
9: JD Samson and Will Munro.
10: JD Samson.
11: Frind and Jessica Gysel.
12: Friends enjoying the night out.

  1. Double Dutch launch party for Girls Like Us and Butt Magazine
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