Queer Genius

Queer Genius

Chet Pancake

desired! – film lust & queer

A fascinating and unusual portrait of artists. In experimental episodes, the film introduces five queer artists: Barbara Hammer, the Black Quantum Futurism Collective consisting of Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother), Jibz Cameron (aka Dynasty Handbag) and Eileen Myles, all of whom work with very different materials and media. The film accompanies Barbara Hammer during one of her last projects, when she is reflecting on death as her illness progresses. The work of Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa is presented individually, but above all in the context of the artists’ shared, collective positions. Their art brings together different media, removes time and place from linear narratives, boldly advocates ideas and is both analytical and political. With Jibz Cameron and her performance persona Dynasty Handbag, the film explores her queer version of »weirdness«. It ends with a portrait of Eileen Myles and her revolutionary way of translating desire into words. Whatever media the artists work with – film, literature or performance – their queer practices are always tangible interventions in normative realities.

NewFest writes about Chet Catherine Pancake’s work: »A working artist also worthy of the queer genius epithet, director Chet Catherine Pancake exists on the same plane as their subjects. In turn, Pancake’s lens takes on the intimacy of home video; their interviews, conversation between chosen family.«

Director / Script / Editing

Chet Pancake


Michele Lawler


Kayla Watkins


Barbara Hammer, Eileen Myles, Black Quantum Futurism, Moor Mother, Dynasty Handbag


Miriam Stewart


Chet Pancake



Chet Pancake

Chet Catherine Pancake is an award-winning film-maker and sound artist. Their work has been presented nationally and internationally in a wide variety of venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art and Academy of Fine Arts Prague. Their awards include the Paul Robeson Independent Media Award, Jack Spadaro Documentary Award, Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, the Silver Chris, and the Edes Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They is currently a visiting assistant professor at Temple University in the film and media arts programme.

Films by Chet Catherine Pancake
Axon Ladder 2014 | Kayuga Project seit 2012 | [Unbreakable] Glass 2012 | 5th Vital Sign 2011 | Optical Scores 2011 | bitterbittertears 2010 | Jay Dreams 2009 | Black Diamonds: Mountaintop Removal & The Fight for Coalfield Justice 2006