Jay Dreams screenshot

Artist Statement

Jay Dreams seeks to illuminate offbeat moments of human drama seen through the eyes of a community all but invisible to many audiences. Baltimore's African-American Dom-Fem culture includes a range of gender expression typically with one biologically female partner expressing masculinity and the other female partner expressing overt femininity in a rich and inter-locking world of relationships, friendships, and marriage. The strength of the community is evident in Jai Brook's humorous poetry inspired by the structure of the Japanese Haiku. Jai's writing more specifically fits into form of Senyru - a sub genre of Haiku that addresses human folly, and can be darkly humorous or ironic.

Jay Dreams uses Jai Brook's ironic poetry to bring humanity and humor to sometimes awkward moments in the on-going struggle for LGBT people to self-define, find safe partnerships, and gain acceptance. Catherine Pancake uses improvised documentary footage of Jai Brooks and his partner, Monique Meadows to present the realities of daily life. Special vignettes shot in color 16mm with high production values highlight more idealized (fantasized?) images. The interplay between fantasy and reality provide a humorous and entertaining backdrop to find human commonalities across race, gender, and sexual orientation boundaries.

“Disidentifcation is about recycling and rethinking encoded meaning. The process of disidentification scrambles and reconstructs the encoded message of a cultural text in a fashion that both exposes the encoded messages's universalizing, and exclusionary machinations and recircuits its workings to account for, include, and empower minority identities and identifications. Thus, disidentifacation is a step further than cracking open the code of the majority; it proceeds to use this code as raw material for representing a disempowered politics or positionality that has been rendered unthinkable by the dominant culture.” From DISIDENTICATIONS: QUEERS OF COLOR AND THE PERFORMANCE OF POLITICES by Jose Esteban Munoz