Screening: Venus Envy: The House of Venus Story
Mix music, outrageous fashion and performances, and cutting-edge video techniques in a queer, subversive blender and what do you get? The House of Venus: Canada’s own internationally renowned fellowship of multidisciplinary artists who spread joy and opened up gender long before the current discourse.
Though the collective was influenced by American artists like Andy Warhol and the decadence of the New York Club Kids, their epic and ongoing history evolved across Canada. Gestating in Windsor, Ontario in the early 90s, they went on to inject culture into Vancouver’s nightlife, with members forming the non-profit Never Apart in Montreal in 2015. Director (and founding member) Michael Venus uses Venus Envy to document the astounding rise and unique DIY spirit of the collective right up to the 25th anniversary of their wearable art extravaganza Wiggle, giving us a kinetic front row experience of all the personalities and parties that went into making this House “a special little boutique of madness in Canada.” Though they attract megawatt talent like Lady Bunny and Honey Dijon, it has been—as testified by an eclectic range of interview subjects—their warm connections and no-judgement-attitude that defines their legacy.