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Ian Giles, Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag, 2019. Film still. Courtesy of the artist.

Presented by videoclub and Gasworks.

The Joiners Arms smelt, tasted, sounded and felt like freedom” Dan Glass, 2018   

At a time when queer spaces in London and elsewhere are increasingly under threat from gentrification, Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag is a programme of films, videos and moving image works by LGBTQI+ artists exploring the historical significance, present urgency and future possibilities of queer spaces as sites of political resistance, community and desire.

Curated by artist and filmmaker Ian Giles, the programme is jointly presented by videoclub and Gasworks at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Departing from Giles’ newly commissioned film about the closure of the Joiners Arms pub and nightclub on Hackney Road, the programme features moving image works by artists and peers including Prem Sahib, Charlotte Prodger, Patrick Staff and Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings.

Following the film screening, there will be an informal conversation about queer spaces with local leaders and LGBTQI+ activists co-chaired by writer and curator Paul Clinton in discussion with Bernice Mulenga, Mahta Hassanzadeh (Pxssy Palace) and DJ Jeffrey Hinton.

The programme features a newly-commissioned text by Paul Clinton. This text will be distributed at the screening alongside a transcript from Giles’ film about the closure of the Joiner Arms pub.

Followed by DJ sets by Sapphire and dwayneDwayne.

Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag is presented by videoclub and Gasworks in London. Throughout 2019, different iterations of the programme will tour to Brighton, Manchester and Newcastle. The programme is generously supported by Arts Council England.   

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Please note this programme will take place off-site at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, 42-44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB, UK

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Programme

Prem Sahib, Chariots Slide Show, 2019, duration variable
Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Pink Room, 2017, 3:12 mins  
Ian Giles, Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag, 2019, 26 mins
Charlotte Prodger, LHB , 2017, 20 mins  
Patrick Staff, Weed Killer, 2017, 20 mins  

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About artists and films

Prem Sahib is a London-based artist whose work examines emotion, community and social scenes with a minimalist sensibility and economy of means. As the audience enter, Sahib will present a rolling slideshow of images taken with photographer Mark Blower at the recently closed gay saunas Chariots Shoreditch & Chariots Waterloo. Recent presentations of Sahib’s work include the ICA in London and Kunstverein in Hamburg.

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings are a London-based artist duo whose work explores queer sociality as a mode of resistance set against an increasingly barren cultural landscape. Their work Pink Room presents an empty gay bar drawn from self-compiled moving image archive – an urgent strategy of resistance against the gentrifying forces that are rapidly erasing the UK’s LGBTQI+ spaces. By filming spaces devoid of revelers, the artists reveal the complex visual language they employ in their self-representation as gay. Their work has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Ian Giles is an artist based between London and New York. His films engage in participatory workshops and verbatim theatre as structures to produce a social network. Working directly with members of Friends of the Joiners Arms, his newly-commissioned film Trojan Horse/Rainbow Flag examines the campaign to save this iconic LGBTQI+ space. The title is inspired by campaigner Amy Roberts, when describing the cynical approach of property developers seeking to push through proposals to erase queer spaces by disingenuously claiming that their LGBTQI+ status would remain unchanged post-development. Giles’ films have been screened at MoMA PS1 in New York and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Charlotte Prodger is an artist and filmmaker based in Glasgow whose work explores issues surrounding queer identity, landscape, language, technology and time. Her film LHB is the product of her extensive research into ‘queer rurality’ – how LGBTQI+ lives are lived outside the usual urban centres that tend to dominate queer narratives, and how coded notions of queer bodies radically shift when they occupy wildernesses rather than cities. In 2018, Prodger won the Turner Prize. She is representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale.

Patrick Staff is an artist based between London and Los Angeles. Their film Weed Killer departs from a monologue adapted from The Summer of Her Baldness, Catherine Lord’s memoir about her experience of breast cancer. Staff accompanies the startlingly candid dialogue with a series of choreographic gestures shot on a thermal imaging camera, hinting at the all-consuming nature of serious illness and treatment. The film brings together questions of queer identity, societal attitudes to illness, and the blurry boundary between poison and cure. Recent presentations of Staff’s work include the Chisenhale Gallery in London and the New Museum in New York.

Paul Clinton is a writer based in London. For four years he was senior editor at frieze magazine and now publishes widely in addition to being lecturer in curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. His book Other Hunting is forthcoming in 2019.

Pxssy Palace is a club night run by an all-women crew that provides marginalised communities with a safe space.

Jeffery Hinton is a DJ and video artist based in London. Hinton earned his legendary status as a DJ at Taboo, Leigh Bowery’s famously decadent London club of the mid-1980s. Here Hinton created his own video collages projected above the dance floor. He regularly DJs at Superstore, East Bloc, The Glory and Vogue Fabrics.