Previously at the ICA - Films

Richard Kern, Submit to Me Now, 1987. Courtesy the artist.

Artists' Film Club: Cinema of Transgression

3 Nov 20124 Nov 2012

Cinema of Transgression – a term coined by Nick Zedd in his 1985 manifesto to describe a particular New York underground filmmaking scene that pushed the boundaries of taste, politics and society. The loosely affiliated group included Zedd, Richard Kern, Beth B, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, David Wojnarowicz and others. This two-screening celebration features a cross-section of key works, significant both then and now.

Saturday 3 November


Nick Zedd, They Eat Scum, 1979, 70 min
They Eat Scum is Zedd’ s early DIY punk foray into feature length filmmaking. Originally shown in underground screenings in late-1970s and early-80s New York, the film continues to polarise audiences with its twisted humour and challenging structure and composition.

Richard Kern, You Killed Me First, 1985, 11 min
Kern’s short film You Killed Me First features Lung Leg in an early appearance, who would go on to feature in numerous Cinema of Transgression films. A still from You Killed Me First featuring Lung Leg was also used for Sonic Youth's EVOL album cover in 1986.

Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Nymphomania, 1994, 9 min
Hughes-Freeland’s black and white short Nymphomania recalls the early fairy-tale and myth filmmaking with a twist. Featuring a beautiful Nymph and an aroused Pan, the film reaches a shocking climax.

Sunday 4 November


Note: Due to disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, we are unable to screen two of the short films originally advertised as part of Sunday’s Cinema of Transgression programme - Beth B, Stigmata, 1991 and David Wornarowicz, A Fire in My Belly, 1986-87.

Sunday’s programme will now feature the excellent documentary No Age, New York (1993) by Nicholas Abrahams and Ana Cory-Right. No Age, New York includes contributions from Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Richard Kern, Beth B, Nick Zedd and many others, in a 50 minute profile of the New York underground filmmaking scene.

Richard Kern, Submit to Me Now, 1987, 19 min
Kern’s Submit to Me Now features Lung Leg and Lydia Lunch in a music video-cum-horror film that quickly descends into a debauched affair with lizards. Blood and guts.

Go back in time

E.g., 2016-09-28
E.g., 2016-09-28

Media