Vincent Gagliostro with Margaret Thatcher at Pulse

Vincent Gagliostro After Louie, an excerpt video [stills, and large details of stills, from installation]

Margaret Thatcher showed a video by Vincent Gagliostro at Pulse. I'd like to describe it as an art trailer for a full-length film not yet produced, but even in its current form it's certainly a complete work of art. There's not a single ugly or unnecessary frame in this piece. I snapped only five images while standing in front of the video screen last month; five images appear here.

Gagliostro describes the work as:

. . . a political love story set against the backdrop of a time when the gay movement mattered, when lovers were not looking for their rights within mainstream structures and when activism existed in its rightful home: the streets.

The artist is a friend and an activist colleague of mine.

Although I'm also no stranger to the world which inspired Gagliostro in creating this film, I prefer to let the gallery press release set the scene with the help of the director's own input:

"After Louie" hits you like a time bomb . . . was there really ever a New York like that where adventure and discovery and sexual tension were still palpable and possible on the skinny island of Manhattan? Was there a meatpacking district before Pastis? When you watch Gagliostro’s video, you actually remember, for a moment, the streets and the clubs and the boys with nice abs.

In the visual and audio collage of Gagliostro's piece you recall that New York City from the not-so-distant end of the last century like it was yesterday. You remember it all not with nostalgia, but, quoting Gagliostro, "with relief that this New York actually existed and actually happened before it was too late; that despite the tragedy and loss and pain of that era there was still the nourishment of real off-line experience and the comforts of heart and sex and art and strangers and bodies and life, and soul growth before everything was already discovered, developed, trained, tracked, exploited, done, over."

There's a clip of the video here, on the artist's very beautiful site.