The art exhibit “Looking for Lesbians” is influenced by the lesbian pulp fiction collection, and other materials, at ONE Archives that are related to lesbian literature in Los Angeles.
The exhibit was created by Sarah-Joy Ford, a textile artist from Manchester, England, who also is the artist-in-residence at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.
The exhibit not only showcases the lesbian pulp fiction collection, but also highlights its significance and legacy, according to information from ONE Archives.
The heart of “Looking for Lesbians” is a series of works that examine the sorority as a site of sapphic intimacies, desire, and loss as well as brutal regulation of acceptable femininities.
These pieces draw from some of the earliest lesbian pulp novels written by women, including Vin Packer’s 1952 novel “Spring Fire” and Ann Bannon’s 1957 novel “Odd Girl Out.”
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Ford’s work in “Looking for Lesbians” also explores women’s societies and single-sex spaces in lesbian culture. The pieces include a quilt, a tracksuit, and embroidered patches.
Their iconography is inspired by a range of lesbian symbols – from Anne Lister’s funerary hatchment to the labrys of Monique Wittig’s Amazons.
The work is has a deliberately femme aesthetic, using shades of pink, pastel hues, satin, and sequins.
“Looking for Lesbians” also spotlights a network of Los Angeles lesbian literature, including Carolyn Weathers and Jenny Wrenn’s Clothespin Press, the Lesbian Writers Series at A Different Light bookshop in Silver Lake, and Terry Wolverton’s “Excavations” project at the Women’s Building near MacArthur Park.
“Looking for Lesbians” will open July 23 at the ONE Gallery in West Hollywood.
RSVP is required for the 4-7 p.m. opening night.