Circus of Books: Blowout
BLOWOUT, an online exhibition in homage to the legendary eponymous gay adult bookstore in Los Angeles, now closed, and the critically acclaimed documentary Circus of Books by Rachel Mason, to be released on Netflix on April 22, 2020. Mason’s film artfully presents her parents’ unlikely stewardship of the Circus of Books empire in a true masterclass of documentary personal and cultural histories. The online exhibition is a sequel to the 2019 show at the gallery co-organized with Mason that featured the work of over fifty artists, hung riotously overflowing the small room. In Circus of Books: BLOWOUT works from over twenty artists will be viewable on the gallery’s website and a video program will run concurrently on the website and Instagram account @fiermangallery. 20% of the profits generated from the exhibition will be donated to organizations supporting homeless LGBTQ youth: the Ali Forney Center in New York and Mi Centro in Los Angeles.
Liberation sparks in community; radicality springs from togetherness. For over forty years the Circus of Books was a gathering place for queer Los Angeles; it was a hub for cruising, a depot for highly desired gay pornography, a space of solace in the height of the AIDS crisis. Collective queer joy and unspeakable pain reverberated in the walls of the store, a physical testament to the revolutionary power of people gathering together in a room.
In 2020 as we collectively all engage with the discomfiting neologism “social distancing” FIERMAN is aiming, with the help of Rachel Mason’s incredible documentary, to stake a claim for a future in which physical interpersonal engagement remains paramount. Take this presentation as a gesture towards a future in which we can bump shoulders in a gallery, gay bar, or bookstore.