FAG is an ill-mannered movie, inspired by frustration and confusion, in which the eponymous invective is laser- printed directly onto 16mm film thousands of times overtop the pride flag, in every font on my computer. I am queer and I am an artist, but up to this point in my practice I’ve not identified as a queer artist. My sexuality (for the most part) has not been present in the content of my work. I make structural and aesthetic films, invested in semiotics, materiality, appropriation, sensation and form. I have typically not sent my work to gay film festivals.
Once I went to a show that featured about a dozen non-themed film programs and one gay one. I thought at the time (and still wonder), isn’t that segregation? Why should a queer artist’s ideas about sexuality or gender necessarily belong in a different conversation from everyone else? Does putting all this queer work together in fact give the opportunity to keep it out of sight? I had a direct animation in another program, and I thought about what a queer direct animation might look like, and about coming out in my work. I was interested in forcing together these disparate elements of my interests and identity. I also wanted to transgress. I wanted to make a movie that was clumsy and obvious and ham-fisted – a cudgel of a film – that could be hated equally by straight and gay people alike (though I suppose you’re welcome to like it too, if so inclined). I thought about my distaste (disdain?) for pop-gay- culture and the over-saturation and corporate appropriation of queer symbols like the pride flag. I thought about how, in the 2010’s, I could never make a film like Kustom Kar Kommandos.
When I wrote the synopsis for FAG, I pulled a quote from a conversation between Dan Savage and Jane Lynch, who were discussing the popularity and acceptance of television shows like Glee and Modern Family in modern popular culture. “Really, when it comes to gay rights, there’s two wars going on. The first war is political, but the culture war is over.” In context it was meant as a celebration (we’ve won), but I echo it as a lament. FAG is about the desire to reclaim the otherness of queerness, aggressivley, to reject the perception of equality – I still don’t feel the same and don’t want to. FAG is both a declaration and a tantrum. Please play loud !
*** In a small effort to increase accessibilty to the materialty of film, outside the privilege of photo-chemical production, and to continue a Recipes for Disaster tradition, included here is a link to a Dropbox folder containing all the necessary .pdf documents and instructions on how to print your own version of FAG ***
xoxoxo, Scott Fitzpatrick
S.F. is a visual artist (Libra) from YWG, whose film and video work has screened at underground festivals and marginalized venues worldwide. He studied film theory and production at the University of Manitoba, and began conducting lo-fi moving image experiments in 2010. Primarily a filmmaker, also invested in photography, re-photography, kaleidoscope and collage.