Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman
Please note that this exhibition is installed around the second story mezzanine and is only accessible via stairs.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90007
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Opening reception: Saturday, September 3, 2016, 6-9pm
Related exhibition: A Subtle Likeness, also on view at ONE Archives
Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman celebrates the legacy of queer filmmaker Cheryl Dunye and the twentieth anniversary of her seminal film The Watermelon Woman. One of the key directors of the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s, Dunye came to prominence in 1996 when The Watermelon Woman had its world premiere in the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival, winning the festival’s prestigious Teddy Award. The film is widely considered the first feature directed by a Black lesbian.
Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman presents an archive of production ephemera from the making of the film including a full script, original audition tapes, a rough cut of the film, published interviews with the director, and a collection of cast and crew photographs. It also includes a photo series taken at the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival by photographer and producer Michael Light with an accompanying artist book, and a selection of test prints for the Fae Richards Photo Archive by artist and photographer Zoe Leonard, who was an integral part of the original production.
Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman is accompanied by the exhibition A Subtle Likeness, also on view at ONE Archives, presenting work by four contemporary artists whose artistic practices resonate with the themes of The Watermelon Woman.
Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman is curated by Erin Christovale. Support is provided by the ONE Archives Foundation.
A Subtle Likeness and Memoirs of a Watermelon Woman are presented concurrently with the film program How to Love a Watermelon Woman on view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles from November 22 – December 31, 2016.
Image: (Top) Cheryl Dunye in a publicity image related to The Watermelon Woman, c. 1996. Photo by James Ford. Courtesy of Cheryl Dunye