Thursday, 02 March 2023 15:30

Interview with Julie Tolentino: Artist, Dancer, Choreographer, Performance Installation Maker (2018)

Interview with Julie Tolentino: Artist, Dancer, Choreographer, Performance Installation Maker (2018) HIDVL
Macarena Gómez-Barris talks with Julie Tolentino about her multi-disciplinary perspective as an artist and the various spaces and modes of learning she has navigated in her 30+ years as an artist. As key figure during the ACT UP AIDS movement, Tolentino helped educate others on responsible sex in the gay community. Her performance art draws from her formal training in Ashtanga yoga with Eddie Stern, leading her to what she calls "sculptural endurance events". Additionally, she founded the Clit Club, a pro-sex lesbian night club that operated for over 2 decades. Honey utilizes "choreography of the throat", personifying ecstasy and death in the performance of the mouth. Her pedagogy as an artist offers an intimate, movement-based experience, utilizing affect throughout all of her practices from activism, somatics, touch, and caregiving. As a "maker", Tolentino combines all of these divergent artistic strategies to express "what life could be."


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 works have been presented at The Kitchen, Invisible Exports, New Museum, Participant Inc., Performa, San Francisco Art Institute, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Commonwealth & Council, The Broad Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and Wexner Center, among other venues. Tolentino was a founding member of ACT UP New York's House of Color Video Collective and the legendary Clit Club—a nightclub in New York City that promote safe-sex for multiracial lesbians. She co-wrote The Lesbian AIDS Project's Women's Safer Sex Handbook, co-edited TDR: The Drama Review's Provocations section, and served as the editor of Guard Your Daughters: Clit Club 1990–2002. Tolentino works in New York City.


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