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Indecent Exposure

April 12, 2017 - April 23, 2017

Indecent Exposure
April 12-23, 2017
opening reception 4/12
Gallery Hours: Daily 8pm-midnight

“Sex is a gift we are given, and we should all just have fun with that.”
-Margie Schnibbe (as Vena Virago) in I Had Sex with a Gigolo on Reality TV (2015)

Indecent Exposure is a retrospective of Margie Schnibbe’s sexually explicit videos and includes over twenty years of work. Paying homage to Cinemaland, the building’s previous tenants, the main gallery is utilized as a casual movie theater, with a ninety-nine minute video program projected as a continuous loop. The seating arrangements are comfortable and migratory; viewers are encouraged to sit close together or far apart, to mingle, to come and go as they please. The upstairs galleries are spaces for invited artists to create intimate performances that encourage participation. The lobby operates as a bar and gift shop. The exhibition is organized by John E. Kush, and will be open nightly.

Schedule of nightly intimate performances
April 12th: Karl Petion, D Og
April 13th: Johnnie Jungleguts
April 14th: Kim Ye
April 15th: Joe Merrell
April 16th: Esater Sunday Screening of Porn Star Pets (9:30-10:30)
April 17th: Molly Shea
April 18th: Stephen van Dyck
April 19th: Alan Ishi
April 20th: Whits n Giggles (Whitney Gibson & Shelley Holcomb)
April 21st: Sarah Gail, Travis D
April 22nd: Badly Licked Bear
April 23rd: Gregory Barnett

Schnibbe’s videos chronicle her life, often portraying her friends, jobs, partners, pets, and sometimes herself. The program begins with Mistress Samantha Diet Doctor (1994), filmed while Schnibbe worked as a dominatrix in New York City. The video documents one of the artist’s co-workers in a scene with a client/sub and a MOMA poster with the image of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Schnibbe’s other early works include Art Farm (1995), the staging of a go-go dancer in Kostabi World Soho with a soundtrack by Heidegger, Hans Object of Desire (1995), a document of her dachshund’s passion for munching on her colleagues’ sex toys, and First Date (1997), a psychedelic home-porn mash-up of the artist and former fuck buddies.

After attending graduate school in California, Schnibbe abandoned New York’s Lower East Side for Los Angeles’ Silver Lake and became fascinated with the San Fernando Valley porn scene. While working for an adult website in Chatsworth called Babenet (a partner of VCA Pictures), Schnibbe and friends filmed Teaparty! (2001), a soft-core girl-girl wrestling movie with infantilism themes. Around this time the artist became an adult film guide for the internet portal About.com and wrote about porn films and actors, conducting interviews and visiting porn shoots. Crystal Cleans My House of Consciousness (2005) documents a heavy-metal housekeeper gone wild and Tweak (2002) is a portrait of a neighbor on drugs who can’t ejaculate, despite the artist’s repeated solicitations and unwavering gaze.

In the mid-aughts Schnibbe worked for Vivid Entertainment and Hustler Video as a production designer and director of commercial pornography under the moniker Vena Virago. The program includes several trailers from Virago’s feature-length movies: Silverlake Scenesters (2006), Eastside Story (2007), Honey Bunny (2008), and Nietzsche Bangers (2005). In 2008, for the first time in over ten years, Schnibbe once again put her naked self in front of the camera in Case 1112: Forty is the New 14, a somewhat fictionalized self-portrait of the artist as a sentimental masturbator.

After retiring from porn and sex work, Schnibbe turned to documenting the perversion in her personal life. Shot in the Silver Lake dog park, Bareback PhD (2013) tells the story of a polyamorous OK Cupid hookup who fails to coerce the artist into having sex without a condom. The Cowboy (2010) and Women’s Work (2016) are meditations on the artist’s past experiences performing dirty sex acts for money in the S/M House. Schnibbe reveals her passion for gay porn and watching men jerk off in A Brief Portrait of Gregory at Age 30 (2012) and I Am a Tourist I Would Like to See Him Naked (2015). In Broken Hearts Are for Assholes (2016), the artist engages an exhibitionist masturbator from Tinder to help her recuperate from a lost love. Schnibbe returns to the porn set as Vena Virago, this time as a multi-orgasmic performer when she appears on the Showtime Network’s real-sex television series titled Gigolos. I Had Sex with a Gigolo on Reality TV (2015) is an unauthorized bootleg of the artist’s performance, recorded from the television during the episode’s premiere.

Video program:

Schnibbe’s work has been exhibited at venues including Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Arsenal Institute for Film/Video Art and Kino Moviemento (Berlin), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna), Arte TV (Germany/France), Anthology Film Archives, Center for Book Arts, The James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center, Monkeytown (New York), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and in Los Angeles at LACE, Film Forum, Charlie James Gallery, MOCA, The Hammer Museum, Francois Ghebaly Gallery, The Box, and David Kordansky Gallery.

Schnibbe received a MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1998, and a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 1991. Schnibbe was born in Yonkers, New York and studied at Hunter College of the City University of New York in the late eighties. Schnibbe lives and works in Los Angeles and hosts a monthly program on KCHUNG Radio.


April 12, 2017
April 23, 2017
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