Lulu’s Journal by Jose Luis Benavides
Through a collection of episodic journal entries and poetic investigations, the voice of the young artist Amanda Cervantes reenacts the queer, Latina youth of Lourdes Benavides aka Lulu, my mother. Drawn from a larger experimental documentary project called Lulu en el Jardín, this video-poem divulges previously untold aspects of my mother’s experiences and story. I imagine here my mom writing while being institutionalized at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center when she was a teenager in the mid 1970s. Rather than embody her voice these passages reflect an interior, psychological landscape, a private place of reflection and consciousness muted by the institution and the insidious powers of homophobic and patriarchal Western culture. Credits: Written and Directed by Jose Luis Benavides Performance by Amanda Cervantes Work cited: Anne Furse, Augustine (Big Hysteria), 1997
Jose Luis Benavides (b. 1986 Chicago, IL) is a queer Latinx artist, filmmaker and educator. His works focus on issues of historicity, social narratives and voice. His work often merges an in-depth archival practice and an intensive research-based practice with poetry, video and theoretical investigation. He recently held his first solo show at Terremoto in Mexico City (2018). He was recently awarded the Mamarrat (Paths) Artist Residency for Qalandiya Internatonal (2018). His work has screened at The Nightingale (2017); Links Hall (2016) and as part of festivals including Collected Voices (2018); 2nd Floor Rear Festival (2017); and S2F2: Scored Silent Film Festival (2013). He has performed under the moniker luigi and as himself at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (2018); 65GRAND (2018); Elastic Arts (2017); and Terrain Biennial (2017). He received an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017.