SPANKIN

Two men in a coffee shop communicate their desires publicly yet silently when they are interrupted by a third. An anagram of “napkins”, SPANKIN transposes the gay hanky code of the 70s onto contemporary coffee culture. Although humorous in content, SPANKIN is an allegory for hierarchical relations within minority groups, consumerist co-optation of identity, and the collective historical forgetting of repression and resistance (the older man has lived through it, the middle-aged man has heard about it and needs to look it up, while the young man is oblivious).

Inspired by the criminalization of homosexual behaviour in Russia, India, Nigeria, and Uganda in 2013, SPANKIN revives the handkerchief code formulated during a similar period of suppression in North America to remind audiences of the neverending struggle, the poignancy of connection and secrecy amidst repression, and semiotic slide of symbols.

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RUNNING TIME: 13:19 | COMPLETED: 01/14 | DIRECTOR: STEPHEN CHEN | CAST: CHARLES HAYTER, UCAL SHILLINGFORD | DISTRIBUTOR:


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dissonance productions
Started by trans-discplinary art-ivist Stephen Chen to consolidate his recent work; as well as facilitate collaboration with others. Stephen’s oeuvre is often allegorical as well as simultaneously deconstruct and hybridize the very forms he works in. Disdaining academic and esoteric expressions, as well as institutional conventions and practices, Stephen explores complex ideas and issues immanent in his works through experiments in form and technique.

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