ASSEMBLING IRVING KLAW / by Jesse Russell Brooks

Los Angeles, California - Moving images of Bettie Page have been stereoscoped, superimposed, chopped, screwed and then looped by provocateurs and feminists for museums more often than her 16mm prints played on the peep show circuit.  If you would like to fact check this, you are invited to a seemingly innocent cocktail at The Silver Bullet Gallery where the stag films of Irving Klaw will be presented as part of it's inaugural show, The Fetish Factory.  Curator Franceasca Seiden whips this aerodynamic gallery into action as part of Pretty in Plastic's 10th Anniversary celebration on April 2, 2016.

Filmmaker Jesse Russell Brooks was asked to produce an arrangement of Irving Klaw's work to project for the event.  A great deal of the footage pulled for review is housed in the archives of Movie Star News in Las Vegas, Nevada. These archives are not only what remains of Irving Klaw's mail order business that ushered in a new wave of media censorship, they also hold one of the largest and most diverse collections of vintage Hollywood photo and film negatives in the world.  Brooks spent several days hunting for rare and unusual footage authored by Klaw for this event.

I planned to present a Klaw film that could not be found easily on the internet. I quickly discovered that everything he shot with Bettie Page is now ubiquitous in world media.
— Jesse Russell Brooks

There are approximately 6 films created by Irving Klaw that are said to be lost and have yet to resurface.  The 2004 cult classic Bettie Page: Dark Angel made by Dutch underground filmmaker Nico B. "faithfully" recreated these missing stag reels that Page did for Klaw.  What Nico B. used for reference is anyone's guess. So, until experimental filmmakers Jesse Russell Brooks and Nico B. meet up in the same editing room; curators, artists and historians will continue to wait patiently for that one yard sale where the stag film find of the century will take place.  Video projectors and the eyes of gallery goers will then glow with new images to obsess over from Bettie's past.


Pretty in Plastic |  10th Anniversary Art Party
6818 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, California
The Fetish Factory Curated by Franceasca Seiden
April 2, 2016 From 2pm till 6pm