From Marco Gomez’s review of “Sex Crimes” for Artforum:
“Sex Crimes” draws from a dense archive of mostly pre-Stonewall gay literature and erotica, focusing on the historical illegality of queer sexual relationships. Curators Greg Ellis and Brian Paul Clamp pull from their own collections, opening the show with the sobering poster “Joe Orton Inquest Story,” 1967, produced by “London’s Evening News.” Its stark font and severe color scheme (red, white, and black) posit that the titular gay playwright’s murder by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, was the dangerous logical conclusion to living a publicly queer life.
Other works, like filmmaker Jack Smith’s theatrical flyer for his 1963 soft-core opus “Flaming Creatures,” are a welcome foil to the tightly ordered cover of the American Psychiatric Association’s 1968 edition of “The DSM II,” which classified homosexuality as a paraphilia. “Sex Crimes” is a timely reminder that any recent advances made on behalf of American queer rights, especially under the current US regime, are precarious victories.