Posthumous Collaborations is a series that involves the completion of my deceased Uncle Murray Salem's ( Kindergarten Cop) unproduced screenplays. This collection came into my possession after his death from AIDS related complications in 1997. The continuum of our ideas around sexuality, illness, and spirituality play out within each work as a cross generational archive.
1994 (written) 2010 (produced)
Dutch Chicago is inspired from the stories of American Painter Roger Brown and my Uncle Murray Salem, both of whom died the same year from AIDS. After intensive research of Roger Brown’s archives I made him a character in one of my Uncle’s screenplays. I acted as Dutch the protagonist in the screenplay and used Roger’s 1967 Mustang as the set.
Dutch Chicago weaves Roger's, Murray's and my own history and experiences into a narrative that moves between memorial, reinterpretation and resurrection revolving around the issues of illness, companionship, and sexuality.
The Eyes of Utopia: Interfacing Intimacy
1980 (written) 2013 (produced)
Through a posthumous collaboration with my uncle I position his screenplay about a polyamorous couple, The Third Corner (1980), within a continuum of physical, social, and technological change by interjecting mobile dating technologies used primarily by men who have sex with other men (MSM) such as Grindr. The changes that have occurred since my birth and since my Uncle’s passing are addressed as the story progresses over a forty year period that takes place within one day in recurring locations within New York City. Theorist and writers such as José Muñoz, Larry Kramer, and Samuel Delany become characters in the story in order to contextualize the public discourse within a personal narrative. Through this methodology I question the pedagogical method of telling histories by openly allowing ghosts of the past into our thinking and theorizing about the future.
1990 (written) 2014 (produced)
During a month long residency at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC I adapted my uncle’s screenplay Sonship Pass (1990) as a performance series and installation in the museum. In the screenplay I became a minor character, a doctor who sees Petie and his father, The Eagle. I developed the doctor’s character and gave him the name Joseph Barbosa. Throughout the month I interviewed other residents and the public coming through the space in the format of hour long appointments staged as if they were a scene in the screenplay. After each appointment I drew maps and recommendations for remedies as iodine drawings on glass panels. For the final performance I exhibited the apothecary, which I had filled with my own items and lizards representing the Gila Monster from the screenplay, as well as the interviews from the doctor.