Ecstatic Stigmatic, the film with a disease
Ecstatic Stigmatic, the film with a disease

1980

Xerox print

11 x 8.5 inches

Accompanied by one promotional postcard (6 x 5 inches); in addition to five film stills from “Ecstatic Stigmatic” (10 x 8 inches, each)

Screening at the Mudd Club

Not for sale.

Gordon Stevenson died in 1982, one of the East Village art community’s first casualties of the AIDS epidemic. He was a filmmaker, musician, and visual artist who played in Lydia Lunch’s band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, appearing on the seminal No Wave album “No New York.” In 1980 Stevenson directed the No Wave film “Ecstatic Stigmatic, the film with a disease,” which was presciently named just on the brink of the first reported cases of the microbiological disaster silently unfolding within the unwitting radical downtown art community. A well-known figure of the village underground, Stevenson was close to such Lower East Side royalty as Fun Gallery director, Patti Astor, and actress-cum-columnist, Cookie Mueller. In fact, Mueller includes a letter by Stevenson, whom she refers to as “my best friend,” written during his waning battle with the disease in her posthumously published book, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black. Stevenson writes in the letter, “Yes you’re right, all of us ‘high-riskers’ have been put through an incredible ordeal—this is McCarthyism, a witch hunt, a ‘punishment’ for being free thinkers, freedom fighters, for being ‘different.'” Mueller would subsequently die of AIDS-related complications in 1988. Furthermore, Stevenson’s brother Davey Stevenson, bassist for the Athens, GA avant-garde punk band Limbo District, also would succumb to the deadly virus in the early 1990s.

G.E.

Work by Gordon Stevenson