Gut Reactions: Watch, Read, Chat

As part of our Study Room Ambassador scheme LADA is delighted to host a series of Study Room Sessions with Phoebe Patey-Ferguson.

The Sessions will run from 6-9pm every Thursday from 29 September until Thursday 15 December (excluding Thursday 10 November)

Each week will draw on LADA's Study Room holdings to look at the work of an artist, or an art movement, and explore the artists and cultural changes they have inspired. 

The Sessions will have a particular focus on performances and related events that have been controversial – works that have been accompanied by scandal, censorship, obscenity charges, moral panic and taboo or stigma. Each Session will explore how these groundbreaking works have led the way for significant cultural, social, political and artistic developments.

Featured artists will include: Jack Smith, John Waters, Ron Vawter, Cockettes, Carolee Schneemann, Bobby Baker, Ann Liv Young, Coco Fusco, Johanna Went, Lois Weaver, Laurie Anderson, Penny Arcade, Vaginal Davis, Annie Sprinkle, Rocio Boliver, Rasheed Araeen, William Pope.L, George Chakravarthi, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Throbbing Gristle, Anne Bean, Oleg Kulik, Leigh Bowery, Franko B, Ron Athey, Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose, Karen Finley, Pussy Riot… and many more

This is an opportunity to take some time to watch and read about some of the most important works made by artists in the past fifty years, in a relaxed and open environment.

The sessions are guided by Dominic Johnson’s Culture Wars module at Queen Mary University

Please note: Events are free but there is a limited capacity for each session so reservation is essential.

Programme Info 

More information and dates for the 2017 Gut Reactions can be found here.

Past Events

29 September: Weekly Meditations for Living Dysfunctionally, an introduction

Introduction to the Study Room

Watch and read a selection of our favourite Study Room materials.


6 October: Flaming Creatures: queer collectives, pornography and trash


Mary Jordan, Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis (extracts from) 

Roy Vawter, Roy Cohn/jack Smith 

The Cockettes (extracts from)

Jennie Livingstone, Paris is Burning (extracts from) 

Jeffrey Schwarz, I am Divine (extracts from) 

David Hoyle, Magazine: 10 Live Performance Essays by David Hoyle (extracts from) 

Dressed as a Girl (extracts from) 


Dominic Johnson, Glorious Catastrophes

Jack Smith, Ronald Tavel, Charles Ludlam, Kenneth Bernard, Theatre of the Ridiculou

Edward Leffingwell, J.Haberman, Wait for Me at the Bottom of the Pool: the Writings of Jack Smith

Gray Watson, Art and Sex 

Ingrid Moessinger, Andy Warhol: Death and Disaster 

John Waters, Shock Value 

Fablo Cleto, Camp  


13 October: Total SCUM: feminism and its controversies  


!Women Art Revolution DVD 

Ann Liv Young, Sherry and Naomi 

Lauren Barri Holstein, How 2 Become 1 

Coco Fusco, I Like Girls in Uniform

Bobby Baker, How to Shop


Are We There Yet? Study Room Guide on Live Art and Feminism and associated materials


20 October: History is a Weapon: Black revolutionary artists


Vaginal Davis, Trashing Performance, The White to be Angry, Black Fag

Rajni Shah, Dinner With America, Three Short Films about Dinner with America

Isaac Julien, Looking for Langston

William Pope.L, Live Culture: Performance and the Contemporary

George Chakravarthi, Unseen

Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Gustavo Vazquez, Homo Fronterizus

Papo Colo, There is No Place Like Home

Lorraine O’Grady, Anthology [youtube]

Maaike Bleeker, Wafaa Bilal, Performing Idea: Reciprocal Aesthetics


Eddie Chambers, Black Artists in British Art

The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Responsibility

E. Patrick Johnson, Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Blacktino Queer Performance

Uri McMillan, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance

Tereasa A. Carbone, Kellie Jones et al, Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties

Catherine Ugwu, Let’s Get it On: The Politics of Black Performance

Josė Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics


27 October: Girls Invented Punk Rock Not England


Marcia Farquar, Juke Box


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

Derek Jarman, The Super 8 Programme vol.1

Tetine Experimental Video Compilation

Johanna Went, Knifeboxing [D1810]

Isaac Julien, Young Soul Rebels

Patti Smith, Dream of Life

Bow Gamelan, Bow Gamelan Collection Disc 1

Minty ,Open Wide

Jamie McMurry, Tire Swing


Anne Bean, Hydar Dewachi, Rachel Withers WAKE

Lydia Lunch, V.Vale

Diamanda Galas, The Shit of God

Simon Ford, Wreckers of Civilisation

Steven Hager, Art After Midnight: The East Village Scene


1 December: Ron Athey


Ron Athey, Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance 


Dominic Johnson, Pleading in the Blood: The art and performances of Ron Athey

Fintan Walksh, Male Trouble: Masculinity and the Performance of Crisis

Robin Spalding Why is the Work of Ron Athey and Hermann Nitsch Useful to Society? 

Dominic Johnson, The Art of Living: An oral history of performance art


8 December: The Fierceness of Franko B


Franko B, Aktion 398

Oleg Kulik, Exposition and Performance

Valie Export, 3 Experimental Short Films 

David Wojnarowicz, itsofomo & Optic Nerve


15 December: Girls Invented Punk Rock Not England


Marcia Farquar, Juke Box


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

Derek Jarman, The Super 8 Programme vol.1

Johanna Went, Knifeboxing [D1810]

Isaac Julien, Young Soul Rebels

Minty, Open Wide

Jamie McMurry, Tire Swing


Anne Bean, Hydar Dewachi, Rachel Withers WAKE

Lydia Lunch, V.Vale

Diamanda Galas, The Shit of God

Simon Ford, Wreckers of Civilisation

Steven Hager, Art After Midnight: The East Village Scene

Banner image credit:

Guillermo Gomez Pena, Live Culture. image by Hugo Glendinning

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