Tomorrow, The Centre for Sex and Culture in San Francisco will be hosting an evening in celebration of Will Munro’s life named No Tears for the Creatures of the Night . Will Munro was a legendary queer artist and activist who passed away in 2010 and this evening will bring together a selection of his 8mm films including “You’ll Dance to Anything” and “Rebels Rule”, the artist profile “Will Munro’s Dirty Load”, and Wrik Meads “Filth”. As well as a selection of work inspired by him .
Filmmaker Kevin Hegge will present his documentary film “She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column” about a group of female artists and filmmakers, including GB Jones (The Yo Yo Gang, JD’s Fanzine), who’s female art-punk band helped spawn the queercore and riot girl movements.
Punk photographers Martin Sorrondeguy (Limp Wrist) and Don Pyle (Trouble in the Camera Club) present their slideshow presentation “Clocked”: in which they explore the overt and implicit themes of homosexuality in their photographs of the underground music scene of which their work collectively spans from 1975 to the present day.
We had the chance to speak to Keven Hegge about the evening and his important documentary in preparation for tomorrow evening.
Who is Will Munro?
Will Munro was artist who lived and worked in Toronto until his untimely death in 2010. HIs work involved a lot of craft, like sewing and often explored queer themes in punk rock and rock and roll mythology. Craft was a super important element of the work because Will really made music and art his work, there was a strong working class element to it, rather than have a more institutional relationship to conceptual art making. Because his work came from this genuine obsessive love for music and punk mythology, it made him and his work very approachable and it really energized the community. So he made stuff like underwear out of old metal shirts with little penises sewed on, or giant quilted versions of famous rock photos, or qiant quilted portraits of queer icons like Leigh Bowery before he had been sort of rediscovered by our generation. Will also threw huge parties that came from a genuine obsessive love for musical subcultures, and explosed naive young adults like myself to multiple musical underworlds that inspire my creative and curatorial outlook to this day. His parties were infamous for drawing together men and women, gays and straights, old and young….but never compromising the trashy outragousness that went along with nightlife. So thats just a little peak, beyond all of that Will worked in many mediums, often collaborting with other artsits for performances or social art practices, and then of course his silkscreen work….its really endless. Will created a lot of work and since it was all so tangebale, he is often referred to with this legendry status – and as downt o earth as he was its really true! He’s like a gay punk icon. There is a really amazing catalogue from his huge solo show at AGYU called History, Glamour & Magic that really beautifuly documents his work that everyone should own. Hmmm there is too much to say! I think people should just dig up his work – order the books and exlpore a mythology of their own.
What inspired you to create your documentary about Fifth Column?
I wanted to make a movie about Fifth Column mostly because I was a huge fan. There was a lot of mystery around the band and their releases, and and a lot of mythology about the way they operated and their relationship to the city, and the music and art scenes at large. There was an unconventionality to everything they did – or so it seemed. I found it interesting that so much of what intrigued me about them went beyond music itself. I had went to school for, and worked in film, but also worked in the music industry for a long time, and was just a sort of archivist on a personal level – so the project made sense to act as a sort of vehicle to bring all of those elements together. I was also a bit bored of living in Toronto at the time and the project presented itself as a positive, creatve way to re-engage with my surroundings and some unexplored histories.
Since you created the documentary how has the band been received?
Most people come to see the movie because of larger themes like Riot Grrrl that they hear it gets into. When I screen it, a lot of people come up and say they had never heard of the band before – which is sort of the point of the movie, because they operated on such a staunhcly DIY level it sort of prevented them from getting more well known, but also remained more interesting because the choices they made on an ideoligical level. Some poeple in North America were fans, or knew them from their single All Women Are Bitches which came out quite late into their career as a band – or some poeple knew them from the zine-world which was pretty huge. I know people have uploaded the records to YouTube since the movie came out – but I think there is a generation gap and some people see that as a theft and don’t relaise that that is how people find and listen to music now – especially when the records are so hard to find. There was interest in re-releasing the records from some labels but as the music explores – things get quite intricate when dabbling back into the Fifth Column working experience! I think more than anything poeple are sort of ebergized by how physical everything was back then and the feedback tends to be that the film sort of inspires people to go out and fuck things up for themselves. It reinforces the benefits of individuality in an era where I think youth culture has become very mono-minded and conformist. Hopefully the band can find way to get their music back into the world some day soon.
Join the Facebook event here.