Val Breeder’s Choreography for a Tired Virus (2019) and John Greyson’s Zero Patience (1993) were both confirmed as part of Pillow Talk’s group show ‘Comedy of Erros’ well before the coronavirus outbreak. I was initially attracted to these two works for their uplifting transformations of viral dis or misinformation. Zero Patience challenges genre expectations, as a musical about AIDS, while fact checking the fake news that one airline attendant from Quebec dubbed ‘patient zero’ was responsible for spreading HIV across North America. This untruth continues to circulate, decades later, for its believability within existing paradigms of oppression (homophobia, slut-phobia, the fear of ‘foreign contagion’) and for its convenience: simple, a single scapegoat. it’s also sensational. There are stories we want to believe because they’re easy to, pleasing to believe (usually, this means the untruth isn’t about you.) Choreography for a Tired Virus plays with this. What's dis/missed are cinematic tropes of femininity, gender as repetitive labor/action. Breeder edits tv & film footage, high and low, of girls and women into a whirlwind that is both nauseating and thrilling, like vomit from food poisoning flushing down the drain; you’re somehow turned on. note that this is my read. Val Breeder is new, quiet, anon. The bio we have for them is ‘val breeder is a rumor.’-FIONA ALISON DUNCAN
This program is organized with FIONA ALISON DUNCAN as an extension of her social practice PILLOW TALK and THE GALLERY @ in support of the group exhibition COMEDY OF ERROS, on view by appointment through January 9, 2021.
An excerpt from ZERO PATIENCE: A Queer Film Classic is presented here courtesy of the authors SUSAN KNABE and WENDY GAY PEARSON alongside a teaser and music video from the film and installation views of COMEDY OF ERROS.
The online screening is free thanks to the generosity of a group of anonymous donors. At the request of the artist, and if you have the means, we ask that you please consider donating to the Toronto Palestine Film Festival.