This Is Not a Dream

Performance Matters, 2013, DVD, 119 mins

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How to change the world with your video camera… or create your own.

The video revolution of the 1970s offered unprecedented access to the moving image for artists and performers. This Is Not a Dream explores the legacies of this revolution and its continued impact on contemporary art and performance.

Charting a path across four decades of avant-garde experiment and radical escapism, This Is Not a Dream traces the influences of Andy Warhol, John Waters and Jack Smith to the perverted frontiers of YouTube and Chatroulette, taking in subverted talk shows and soap operas, streetwalker fashions and glittery magic penises along the way.

Featuring Dickie Beau, Dara Birnbaum, Nao Bustamante, Vaginal Davis, Cole escola, Vincent Fremont, Alp Haydar, Holestar, David Hoyle, Kalup Linzy, Glenn O’Brien and Scottee.

I LOVE THIS FILM. The best of the best performers in the western world keeping watch at their post on the vanguard. This isn’t pop culture b.s. THIS IS FUCKING ART!” Justin Vivian Bond

Gavin Butt is Professor of Visual Cultures and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London.  He is the author (with Irit Rogoff) of Visual Cultures as Seriousness (Sternberg 2013),  Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World 1948-1963  (Duke University Press, 2005), and editor of After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance (Blackwell 2004).

Ben Walters is cabaret editor of Time Out London and creator of BURN, the platform for moving images by cabaret artists.

Contains booklet with film notes and an essay by Gavin Butt and Ben Walters.

Commissioned by Performance Matters, in association with BURN.

Watch the trailer below.

This is Not A Dream – Trailer from Live Art Development Agency on Vimeo.

Directed by Gavin Butt and Ben Walters

Edited by Tom Frederic

Music by Morgan Quaintance

Original performances by Dickie Beau.

Part of the Crossovers series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues reflecting the potential of marginal artforms and intense ideas within popular media.