Dirty Looks, the boundary-pushing platform for queer film and video offers quite a doozy this Sunday: the one and only Ms. Vaginal “Cream” Davis “living on video” circa 1993. Screening a restored version of the performance art legend’s FERTILE LA TOYAH JACKSON: Volume 1, viewers will get to bask in 52 minutes of brilliance culled from her groundbreaking zine of the same name- a photocopied tome celebrating L.A.’s most outrageous Angeleno artists and boasting juicy “celebrity” gossip delivered as only Davis ever could. The video version, styled and directed by filmmaker and photographer Rick Castro (you also may have read about him when we reported on the discrimination he faced on Facebook recently), took the zeal of the ’80s zine to new heights showcasing the L.A. drag pioneer’s charisma and gift for gab on film and cementing her rep as not only a cultural critic and chronicler of alternative movements, but a figure who helped to define these scenes in L.A.

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(Courtesy Rick Castro)

Davis is known for her writing and performance art musical projects including Cholita, The Afro Sisters, Black Fag and Pedro, Muriel and Esther and the cabaret club Bricktops, but to L.A. Weekly she is also part of the family- she worked as a receptionist for this publication for several years, and I’m honored to say I was personally graced with her insightful wit and wonderfully wacky ways on many occasions. Though now residing in Berlin, her legacy lives on in the local art community and beyond.

For those not familiar with V.D.’s output, this screening, produced with the support of the City of West Hollywood Arts Division’s Transgender Arts Initiative, is a must in context of LGBTQ history, and L.A. history in general.  From “Streetwalker Fashions” on Santa Monica Blvd. to lounging at long-lost local haunts like Eat A Pita, The French Marketplace and the Numbers bar, to chit-chatting with L.A. fetishists and beautiful “freaks” (RuPaul even makes an appearance, promoting her then-new single “Supermodel”), this rare video event is sure to provide fun flashbacks as it illustrates the fertilization of queercore culture in L.A.

Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood. Sun., Sept. 8, 7 p.m. free. dirtylooksla.org/events/fertile-la-toyah-jackson




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