Julie Tolentino's The Bottom Project.
Summary: Julie Tolentino and cast explore the body politics of movement in The Bottom Project (2000). Tolentino uses the collective body in motion as an act of resistance against the backdrop of the AIDS pandemic. The performers engage the meaning of the word “bottom” as a precarious space through a non-linear narrative that encompasses movement, visuals, and sound. As evidenced in the performance, the bottom is a metaphorical space of exploration, a space of radical unbecoming, and a space free of social hierarchies. Furthermore, Tolentino employs a queer mestiza lens by working with a diverse group of bodies on stage. She draws from her activist work in ACT UP New York and from managing the sex-positive venue the Clit Club to create a radical choreographic approach to movement. Tolentino’s approach can be seen as a movement intervention calling for a new set of body politics in the performance scene for that time. The performers collectively embody these politics through a fluid configuration of race, gender, and sexuality. Together, Tolentino and cast create a space to build a coalition across communities while also providing a foundation to envision new political imaginaries for queer ways of being in the world.
Summary: Julie Tolentino is a performance artist, dancer/choreographer, and visual artist. Her art explores the intersections of queer sexual subcultures, Eastern healing practices, and HIV/AIDS cultural activism. Tolentino’s solo and collaborative work has been presented at Invisible Exports, The Kitchen, New Museum, Participant Inc., Performa, San Francisco Art Institute, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Commonwealth & Council, The Broad, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angles, and Wexner Center, among other venues. She has worked on projects with Ron Athey, Candidate, Robert Crouch, Stosh Fila, Gran Fury, Diamanda Galás, Gerard & Kelly, Stanley Love, Lovett/Codagnone, Catherine Opie, David Rousseve, Madonna, Mark So, and Meg Stuart. Tolentino was a founding member of ACT UP New York's House of Color Video Collective and the legendary Clit Club--a lesbian nightclub in New York City that promoted safe-sex and existed as an intergenerational, multi-racial, and mixed class venue for women. She co-wrote the Lesbian AIDS Project's Women's Safer Sex Handbook, co-edited the TDR "Provocations" section, and served as editor of Guard Your Daughters: Clit Club 1990-2002. Tolentino resides in New York City and Joshua Tree, where she created a solar-powered live/work residency called FERAL House and Studio.
Credits: Julie Tolentino, creator, director, choreographer ; DJ Aldo Hernández, Killer, soundscape composer ; Jet Clark, Super8 film creator ; Julie Tolentino, Jet Clark, visual designer ; F100, music composer ; Lori E. Seid, lighting designer ; Catherine Gund (F100), video designer ; Catherine Gund, EXUM, F100, digital imagery design.
Credits: Performers: Julie Tolentino, Jet Clark, Cross (Clayton Cross), Christine Doza, Elaine Gan, Phoenix Rivera, Rhiannon Roberts, Pony (Sherri Russel), Anna Margaret Sanchez, Greg Seibel, Kyle Sheldon, Victoria Spence, Johnnie Tingle, Tai Uhlman, Sacha Yanow ; Julie Fowells, violinist ; Killer (Deborah Melford), percussionist.