The Bubble Lounges: Jerome Caja and Queer Nightclub Utopias of the 1990s
with Anthony Cianciolo, Steven Miller, Alvin Orloff, Terence Smith Moderated by Glen Helfand
Cultural bubbles are so often invoked these days to apply to our political beliefs as well as to places that stimulate creative action. The exhibition Tiny Bubbles points to imaginary worlds created by artists to explore individual meanings. The work of Jerome Caja (1958-1995) presents a highly sexualized, deeply theatrical world that reflects a world he inhabited, the scrappy constructed queer nightclubs of the early 1990s. Weekly and semi-regular events such as the infamous Club Uranus and Klubstitute, as well as gallery and performance spaces Kiki and Josie’s Juice Joint, offered a heady mix of revelry, AIDS activism, DIY theater, sexuality, and the total embrace of freakiness.
Organized in conjunction with the exhibition, this panel discussion looks at a moment of San Francisco underground history from the perspective of four people who were there. Using Caja’s ubiquitous presence on that scene, the discussion will address the important role these spaces played in developing counter cultural community in San Francisco.