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Chris E. Vargas Zoom: Criminal Queers   Online  Film


Zoom, Bergen Kunsthall’s programme of artists’ films and video works presents:

Online screening of "Criminal Queers" and MOTHA talk with Chris E. Vargas on our website, Facebook and Youtube

Chris E. Vargas presents The Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA) alongside a screening of Criminal Queers (with Eric Stanley).

The screening takes place during Transgender Awareness Week 2020. Please visit to see programme in Bergen during TAW2020.



"The revolution has come! A fake museum with an imaginary past has re-invented itself for a post-revolutionary future. Re-introducing a new and improved "Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art.”

The Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA) and the ongoing exhibition “Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects” was founded as a conceptual art project by artist Chris E. Vargas who performs as its Executive Director. The mission of MOTHA is to ask audiences to think critically about what a visual history of transgender life could and should look like, and if it’s even possible to compile a comprehensive history of an identity category for which the language is fairly new, sometimes contested, and still rapidly evolving. MOTHA’s physical status is “forever under construction” which allows the project to take multiple forms such as exhibitions, poster graphics, performances, and a virtual artist residency program.

Criminal Queers
"Criminal Queers" visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls. Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation. Follow Yoshi, Joy, Susan and Lucy as they fiercely read everything from the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes legislation to the non-profitization of social movements. Criminal Queers grows our collective liberation by working to abolish the multiple ways our hearts, genders, and desires are confined. (directed by Chris Vargas & Eric A. Stanley, 2020)

Chris E. Vargas is a video maker & interdisciplinary artist currently based in Bellingham, WA whose work deploys humor and performance in conjunction with mainstream idioms to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical & institutional memory and popular culture. He earned his MFA in the department of Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. From 2008-2013, he made, in collaboration with Greg Youmans, the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love...with Chris and Greg. Episodes of the series have screened at numerous film festivals and art venues, including MIX NYC, SF Camerawork, and the Tate Modern. With Eric Stanley, Vargas co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2015) which have been screened at Palais de Tokyo, LACE, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, and the New Museum among other venues. Vargas is also the Executive Director of MOTHA, the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art.

The screening and talk is part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Re-Imagine Europe is initiated by Sonic Acts (NL) and coordinated by Paradiso (NL) in collaboration with Elevate Festival (AT), Lighthouse (UK), INA GRM (FR), Kontejner (HR), Landmark / Bergen Kunsthall (NO), A4 (SK), Disruption Network Lab (DE) and Ràdio Web MACBA (ES).

Zoom is Bergen Kunsthall’s programme of artists’ films and video works. This season we present a number of works closely connected to the theme of speculative histories, with artists investigating the re-structuring of archival and historical narratives.

Upcoming programme:
Emanuel Almborg: The Majority Never Has Right On Its Side
Thu 3 Dec 20:00 Free

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