A highlight of the current Whitney Biennial exhibition, Tearoom is a revelatory visual document of pre-Stonewall gay images.
Its footage was captured by a police camera hidden in a public men’s room in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1962, an elaborate entrapment scheme devised to catch men of various races and classes meeting to have sex with other men. Through extensive research, filmmaker William E. Jones located the unedited original footage, which he presents with virtually no intervention on his part—a radical example of film presented “as found” for the purpose of circulating a kind of imagery that has otherwise been suppressed. The Mansfield tearoom bust was a considerable scandal in its day, with the lives of dozens of men effectively ruined through the entrapment. Jones’s replay, shown here throughout the day in the Box, our video screening room, is an act of notable restoration. (silent, 56 mins., video)
A native of Massillon, Ohio, and now living in Los Angeles, Jones received post-production support for Tearoom from the Wexner Center’s Art & Technology residency program. His book-length background study to the film is available in the Wexner Center Store and featured during the signing.
Book signing at 6 PM
(William E. Jones, 1962/2007)
Official Website: http://www.wexarts.org/fv/index.php?eventid=2789
Added by Wexner Center on January 28, 2008