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The Buffalo Series

The "Buffalo Series" is an evolving platform exhibiting the work of Buffalo based film and video artist.

Buffalo New York (USA) has a rich history in the visual arts. Home to the Burchfield Penny Art Center, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, CEPA Gallery, Hallwalls, Center for Media Studies and many other cultural organizations and exhibition spaces. In the 1960s and 70s Buffalo was a hub of energy and creativity attracting and supporting the work of many artist. In 2012 the Albright-Knox Art Gallery posted an exhibition titled: Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avent-garde in the 1970s (currated by Heather Pesanti).


a film by Lawrence Brose, 1997

De Profundis is a mesmerizing and seductive investigation of Oscar Wilde's project of Transgressive Aesthetics.  Incorporating home movies from the 1920's and early gay male erotica along with images from Radical Faerie gatherings and queer pagan rituals, radical drag performances and images of confinement, the film sets up a haunting investigation of queerness, masculinity, history and sexuality.

* VASA thanks Lawrence Brose for permission to stream and archive DE PROFUNDIS.

© Lawrence Drose
Orginal version 16 mm film
65:00 minutes

Videos may go full screen.

In De Profundis Lawrence Brose adopts a three part strategy to investigate the historical implications of sexuality, gender construction, and language; to explore Oscar Wilde's poetics; and to critique the homogenization of the contemporary gay movement. 

The film employs experimental hand and alternative chemical processing techniques to alter the original images.  The transformed footage addresses the fixed framing of masculinity while questioning concepts of redemption, contamination and transgression set against critical readings of Wilde and of contemporary gay culture. These images are buttressed against a soundtrack composed of Wilde aphorisms, a score by Frederic Rzewski, and multi-tracked interviews of diverse contemporary gay men.

The film begins with a short story as told by Kenny Cooper, a New York Radical Faerie about his first experience with public sex in a movie theatre.  The story sets up an initial decent into the worlds of public vs. private, sexual deviance and movies.  Following this story are 19 sound loops woven together of Agnes de Garron readings of Wilde aphorisms being delivered in a variety of vocal personas.  The readings have been composed into sound loops by composer Douglas Cohen and work to focus the viewer onto Wilde's use of language and his transgressive aesthetics set up against authority, revealing the paradox of language as a containing and defining force. The sound loops also function to establish the language of Wilde before his "fall into disgrace" which the letter DeProfundis revels in.

Part II of the film is constructed around the score, a musical setting of Wilde's prison letter. Images of Radical Faerie ritual gatherings, pagan witch performances, images of confinement and struggle, and drag performances by Agnes de Garron (a founding member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) function as contamination to the contained image of Wilde, as presented in the words and music.  These images work to corrupt the romantic existentialism of personal redemption and sorrow of the prison letter.

In Part III the  soundtrack is a sound environment of colliding voices from several sources that question the framing of a singular voice in the 1990's gay movement and thereby shatter an ideological framework of normalization. The soundtrack, much like the images in the film, function to call language into question through continual shifts of focus within the layers as a kind of palimpsest or a polyphonic poetics that problematizes narrative conventions, piercing the skin of a homogenous unified voice.


Lawrence Brose is an experimental film artist and has created over thirty films since 1983.  His films have been shown at international film festivals, museums, art galleries, and cinematheques in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Brose’s most recent film, De Profundis has been greeted with critical acclaim and has been screened at more than eighty venues and festivals worldwide since its release.   De Pofundis isa 65-minute experimental film based on Oscar Wilde’s prison letter with an original score for the film by the American composer Frederic Rzewski.  In 1989 he began a series of film collaborations with contemporary composers to explore the relationship between the moving image and music.

Lawrence Brose (Facebook)

The VASA film/video series showcases works of international video and filmmakers. To celebrate the moving image VASA presents works from various paradigms and genres.The series is supported through the actions of the VASA community of volunteers.

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