Friday, December 30, 2011

4PLAY: TAMPA - Chad State's "Cruising"

I want to begin again investigating intentions and meaning surrounding and embedded in FOURPLAY: TAMPA as we ramp up for the film's Sundance screenings in January. Screenwriter Carlos Treviño received as a gift from TAMPA actors Matt Hislope and Josh Meyer (the talented duo behind Austin's Rubber Rep Theater) the new photo essay book CRUISING by Chad States.

I've posted one of the photographs from the book above. For me, the wonderful feeling I had upon first reading Treviño's screenplay is also to be found in the photography and accompanying essays in States' book, where consensual, adult sexual actions, so often demonized and marginalized culturally, politically and legally, are recuperated and invested with humanity and the accompanying spirituality of "connection" almost completely missing from popular media representations.

"In Cruising, Chad States portrays not so much a parallel universe but one just down the street and only partly camouflaged. He begins to describe a social overlay where the interplays between assertion and marginalization of male sexualities are constantly in flux and while regular public sex is being expressed the forces that directly harm, discount, isolate, ghettoize, and assimilate erotic outsiders are, at least for a few moments, kept at bay," states Gordon Brent Ingram in his Cruising on the Margins accompanying essay.

I hope, in some small way, FOURPLAY is a similar work, perhaps not so much assimilating erotic outsiders as at least giving them their "due," for I feel their actions are far more prevalent and normal than the homogenizing forces of popular culture would care to admit. After all, that which we marginalize is the part of ourselves we care not to admit exists.

- Kyle

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