Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 3:00pm–5:30pm
Price: Free
Type of event:
Visual AIDS Event
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • 99 Gansevoort St
  • New York, NY, 10014

6th Annual Last Address Tribute Walk

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St
New York, NY, 10014
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Whitney Museum screening followed by tributes at the addresses of former West Village sites by Stuart Comer at Florent, Brad Gooch at The Mineshaft, Vivian Crockett, Tara Hart, Michele Hill and Lori E. Seid with words by Julie Tolentino at the Clit Club, Egyptt LaBeija at The Piers, Luna Luis Ortiz at The Neutral Zone, and Rafael Sánchez with Joel Handorff at St Vincent’s Hospital.

For the 6th Annual Last Address Tribute Walk, Visual AIDS Programs Director Alex Fialho led a tribute walk to the Lost Addresses of six sites marked by cultural and activist HIV and AIDS histories in the West Village: Florent, The Mineshaft, The Clit Club, the Piers, The Neutral Zone, and St Vincent’s Hospital. Visiting former sites of nightlife, housing, creativity and care, the 6th Annual Last Address Tribute Walk shifted from previous iterations highlighting home addresses to locate community and social life in the midst of the AIDS crisis.

The program began at 3PM with a screening of Ira Sachs’ film Last Address (2010, 9 min.) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, followed by short video clips contextualizing each site, including Charles Atlas’ Butcher’s Vogue (1991, shot at Florent), a slideshow created by Julie Tolentino of Clit Club invitations, and footage of Sylvia Rivera reflecting about her life on the Piers from the documentary Fenced Out (2000, produced by FIERCE, Paper Tiger Television, and the Neutral Zone). The event then moved to the streets of the West Village, stopping at each address for tributes by special guests involved with or influenced by the former sites: Stuart Comer at Florent (69 Gansevoort Street); Brad Gooch at The Mineshaft (835 Washington Street); Vivian Crockett, Tara Hart, Michele Hill and Lori E. Seid with words by Julie Tolentino at the Clit Club (432 W 14th Street); Egyptt LaBeija at the Piers (at Pier 48); Luna Luis Ortiz at The Neutral Zone (162 Christopher Street); and Rafael Sánchez with Joel Handorff at St Vincent’s Hospital (15 7th Avenue). At each site, a drawing by Win Mixter evoking the Lost Addresses and a rose were left in tribute.

Though these may now be Lost Addresses, the histories of these sites and the lives and creativity they have inspired continue to impact a new generation. Through the constellation of readings and roses, drawings and doorsteps, The Last Address Tribute Walks situate community through remembrance and response.

Inspired by Ira Sachs’ film Last Address, Visual AIDS’ past Last Address Tribute Walks have revisited the former addresses of artists lost to AIDS, to remember their lives and highlight their artistic legacies. The annual program has featured doorstep readings in tribute to over 20 artists outside homes in Chelsea, the West Village, the East Village, and the Lower East Side.

Stuart Comer is Chief Curator for the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. While working as an intern at the New Museum on Broadway at the height of the culture wars during the late 1980s, he became a regular at Florent, the legendary diner and 24-hour crossroads for meat packing workers, artists, drag performers, celebrities, and club goers. Over a decade later in the early 2000s, he first came to know a new generation of queer New York artists and filmmakers like Matt Wolf and Terence Koh over late night dinners at Florent before the restaurant finally succumbed to gentrification and closed in 2008.

Vivian Crockett is a New York–based independent researcher, scholar, and curator and a PhD candidate in art history at Columbia University. Her scholarly and cultural work seeks to assert a radically political analysis of modern and contemporary art and to foster the remembrance and visioning of cultural spaces and practices that merge a commitment to artistic and cultural production with sociopolitical justice and collective liberation. She was the co-curator of Visual AIDS' 28th annual Day With(out) Art, ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS. Although she never attended the Clit Club, she has felt a strong alliance to the political, artistic and sexual encounters made possible by its existence. Since 2015, she has been part of an evolving group of intergenerational kin reactivating the histories and legacies of the Clit Club.

Brad Gooch is the author of the memoir Smash Cut: A Memoir of Howard and Art and the 70s and the 80s, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. The memoir—as well as his novel The Golden Age of Promiscuity—paints a vivid picture of the life and times of the legendary club, Mineshaft.

Tara Hart currently works as an archivist in the Meatpacking District. She has lived in Brooklyn since 2005 and has performed archival work for a number of artists and arts organizations throughout New York City. Her work is concerned with the complexities of how legacy can be reconstructed and negotiated in the present, and how dialogues surrounding embodied archives and speculative histories can disrupt traditional archival practice privileging tangible remains. She is indebted to the labor of those who organized and sustained the Clit Club, and how they worked to transform the conditions of their existence.

Michele Hill works in home health care. She was and she remains a Clit Club icon.

Egyptt LaBeija (Javon Egyptt) is a community activist, leader and show girl within the Trans and gender non-conforming community. In speaking to her relationship to the Pier, Egyptt noted, “I literally lived on on one of the Piers that’s no longer there. This time taught me a lot me about life and made me who I am today. The memories. People should never forget where they came from.”

Luna Luis Ortiz is a photographer who has documented LGBT youth spaces that were a safe space for many to express themselves. The Piers, The Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Harvey Milk School and The Neutral Zone were spaces where youth of color congregated and at times called home. Each location was and has been a haven of safety, education and supportive services throughout the AIDS epidemic. It was at The Hetrick-Martin Institute where Luna learned to develop film and print his photographs, many taken at each respected location.

Rafael Sánchez is a visual artist, writer and performer. His activated settings often involve characters engaged in existential quandaries and general …phenomena. Since 1997 he operates a venue that doubles as a bookstand in front of his Hudson Street apartment, located just a few blocks from St. Vincent’s HIV Clinic where he was a client from 2003 until the hospital’s closing in 2010.

Lori E. Seid has worked in theatres, clubs and art spaces all over the world as a producer, stage manager, lighting designer and DJ since 1984. Seid has worked extensively with Charles Atlas, DANCENOISE, Diamanda Galas, Anohni, John Kelly, Julie Atlas Muz, Meredith Monk, Jackie Factory, Boy George, Split Britches, Rosie O’Donnell, Cyndi Lauper and Julie Tolentino. Seid worked at The Clit Club for many years as a door-dyke, dj, co-manager. She is very proud to have been a part of this society-changing, legendary party for women and to this day considers the women she worked with her family.

Julie Tolentino is an artist. She ran Clit Club, along with a dedicated crew, through its 12-year history.