TEAROOM, Dir. William E Jones


Sun 21 Jan 13:00 ICA

Dir. William E Jones, 1962/2007, US, 56 mins

18 recommendation - contains scenes of real sexual activity.

In 2007, the video artist William E Jones presented Tearoom. Originally filmed in 1962 by the Ohio police, Tearoom is surveillance footage, a blunt tool of oppression that documented men cruising in a public restroom. This footage was eventually used as evidence to prosecute the men of sodomy and public deviancy.

In exhuming this footage 40 years later, Jones revealed hidden dimensions through recontexualisation, offering up an open democratic space where age, class and racial boundaries break down, whilst remaining a poignant reminder of the anxiety and persecution these men were forced to endure.

Additionally, we also welcome filmmaker Sam Ashby, indie game developer Robert Yang and artist Prem Sahib for a post screening discussion of the themes highlighted in the work, lead by Dr Fiona Anderson (University of Newcastle, CRUSEV). 

Prior to the screening we will also be showcasing Robert Yang’s game The Tearoom, a cruising simulation made in direct response to the film. On release, the game ran afoul of the censors and so in a bold piece of satirical provocation Yang replaced all the penises with guns. The game was then successfully passed uncut.

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