CLUB is evolving from my ongoing collection of footage during police traffic stops and arrests, surveillance at protests, tow truck assistance, and one instance where the cops stood by to ensure the safety of mostly white college students entering and exiting a party.
CLUB is a meditation on the residual imprint of state power in public space. It is a turn away from spectacle and toward a consideration of who is absent and who is implicated in the ongoing crisis of police brutality and state neglect.
The music in the video is “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester. Released in 1978, it quickly became top 40 in the US and top 10 in the UK.
I think of Sylvester as one of the first performers to push Black queer femme desire into popular dance music. What does it mean for me to link our subjectivities and femininity across divergent time and identities?
I want to contextualize contemporary state violence within queer history. I want to conjure the pre-AIDS moment that “You Make Me Feel” encapsulates—a moment of queer utopian potential that I never lived through, but is nevertheless poignant to me. I want to make people dance and then really consider what it is they are dancing to. The AIDS epidemic never ended, it just became less white and less visible, and police brutality is nothing new.