fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Tourmaline
La Biennale di Venezia

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1983, USA

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Tourmaline is an activist, writer, and filmmaker whose practice confronts the historical erasure of Black, queer, and trans communities. Her films weave together portraits of queer icons, drag queens, and gay and trans liberation activists whose cultural contributions have too often been flattened, pathologised, or neglected entirely. In her experimental filmic portrayals, figures such as the activists Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (The Personal Things, 2016), Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (Happy Birthday, Marsha!, 2018), and legendary drag queen Egyptt LaBeija (Atlantic Is a Sea of Bones, 2017) come to life through narratives that play with the details conventionally offered by history or found in archives. Mary of Ill Fame (2020–2021) shapes a fictional story around Mary Jones (played by Rowin Amone), a Black trans woman and sex worker who was part of a community of “girls of ill fame” and eventually incarcerated in the 1830s for stealing a man’s wallet. Mary of Ill Fame imagines Jones in Seneca Village, an autonomous New York City community of free Black and Irish immigrants located on the land occupied today by Central Park. Splicing between images of Jones in brutal confinement and in a gracious, picturesque Seneca Village home, Tourmaline builds a fantasy space of power, freedom, and pleasure that the actual Jones deserved. 

Madeline Weisburg

Mary of Ill Fame
Production credits

Written, Directed, and Produced by: Tourmaline
Executive Produced by: Janet Mock, Keanu Reeves
Produced by: Hope Dector, Nina Macintosh
Starring: Rowin Amone
With: Christopher James Murray, Eva Reign, Jack Sochet
Editor: Hedia Maron
Director of Photography: Kjerstin Rossi
Co-Producers: Matt Harvey, Omega, Kjerstin Rossi
Associate Producer: Luce Capco Lincoln
Production Designer: Josephine Shokrian
Editors: Hedia Maron, Omega
Costume Designer: Tess Herbert
Original Music Contributed by: Geo Wyeth


Mary Jones    Rowin Amone
Peter Dermot    Christopher James Murray
Fernando Woods    Jack Sochet
Anne Waters     Eva Reign
Jupiter: Harry Aspinwall
Cop 2: Philip John Trossarello Jr.
Cop 3: Scott Watson
Seneca Villagers: Lehna Huie, Simone Octavia Huie Durant, Max-André Kajou Valbrune, Yanic Emmanuel Valbrune
Working Girls: Aaryn Lang, Maya Monès, Natasha Tori, Vachensky Vieux
People in Cell: William Howard Blair, Divad Durant, Asha Futterman
Prison Guard: Griffin Stanton-Ameisen
Cat: Kubo

First Assistant Director: Ariel Mahler
Second Assistant Director: Tae Braun
Script Supervisor: Anthony Louis Lee


First Assistant Camera: Nicalena Iovino
Second Assistant Camera: Matt Harvey, Natalie Tsui
Gaffer: Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Key Grip: Brian de la Cruz
Electric Warut: Snidvongs
Additional Grip: Ryan Colletti
Grip and Electric Swing: Erin Bailey
Special Effects Cinematographer: Omega
Special Effects Gaffer: Vance Spicer
Special Effects: s.o. O'Brien
Steadicam: Jordan Tetewsky
Sound Mixers: s.o. O'Brien, Elizabeth Rakhilkina, Pat Zimmon


Set Decorator: Anne Cousineau
Leadman: Ehm West
Prop Master: Vita Kurland
Set Dresser: Charlie Mai
Set Dresser: Mariana Sanchez Bueno
Set Dresser: Melissa Belardo
Greenskeeper: Gareth Stacke
Greens Assistant: James Scales
Greens Assistant: Chloe Smith
Greens Assistant: Zach Strein
Graphic Designer: Dana Bishop-Root
Makeup Artist: Dotty Peterson
Hair Artist: Andrita Renee
Costume Assistants: Rhylli Ogiura, Tyler Okuns
Stunt Coordinators:Travis Staton-Marrero, Natalie Strasser
Storyboard Artist: Tiffanie Young
Catering by: Harvest & Revel
Production Assistants: Craig Almquist, Rhi Collins, Divad Durant, Asha Futterman, Edda Gonzalez, Em Chu Ying He, Luce Capco Lincoln, Sophie Kreitzberg, Rhea Parimoo, Emily Reed, David Sierra, Jade Ureña
Special Effects Guest Camera Directors: Rowin Amone, Melissa Belardo, Tae Braun, Mercer Dector, Divad Durant, Luce Capco Lincoln, Nina Macintosh, Ariel Mahler, Danyelle Minor, s.o. O'Brien, Rhea Parimoo, David Sierra, Natalie Strasser, Natalie Tsui


Title Sequence and Visual Effects by: John Stanch
Additional Editing: Adam Knowles
Sound Editor: Tyler Newhouse
Re-Recording Mixer: Isaac S. Derfel
Colorist: Marika Litz
Graphics by: Dana Bishop-Root, Leslie Stem
Titles by: Virgil B/G Taylor


Exhibition and Production Designer: Christine McCharen-Tran
Prose excerpt from The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton
With permission granted from Arnold Adoff
Archival footage of Sylvia Rivera courtesy of Randy Wicker
Archival Footage and Video Stock courtesy of Adobe Stock, Axiom Images, Denver Open Media, NASA, New York Public Library, Prelinger Archives, Stocksy

Shot on location at: The Wyckoff House Museum, Castle Williams Prison, Governors Island, Seneca Village, present day Central Park

Thank You
Arcus Foundation
Arnold Adoff
Karl-Mary Akre
Kazembe Balagun
Barnard IMATS
Morgan Bassichis
Luca Borghese
Joanna Bovay
Erick Boustead
Effie Campbell Bowen
Melissa Branfman
Elizabeth Castelli
Rebecca Choi
Jeffrey P. Coleman
Brenda Davis
Michael D. DeCandia
Kimberly Drew
Zackary Drucker
Amalle Dublon
Tracy Fenix
Alex Fialho
Migdalia Figueroa-Pinedo
Caitlin Gossett
Che Gossett
Governors Island Trust
Billie Jean Grey
Vanessa Haroutunian
Melanie Hibbert
Lauren Hollender
Arthur Jafa
Janet Jakobsen
Jari Jones
Mary Jones
Beck Kitsis
Melanie Koch
Melanie Kress
The LGBT Center
Kelsey Livingston
Hannah Lucal
Dori Midnight
Lorna Macintosh
Zoë Macintosh
Cosi Marks
Jade Marks
Materials for the Arts
Metropolis Post
Museum of the City of New York
Bunny Michael
Maryse Mitchell-Brody
Ben Mosca
Laramie Moser
Miriam Neptune
NYPL Librarians
Cara Page
Juana Peralta
Pam Phillips
Karen Pittelman
Marika Plater
Posadas Josephine
Red Hook Winery
Darius Reed
Irit Reinheimer
Jen Rhee
Maureen Ridge
Margo Cohen Ristorucci
Amy K. Rosenthal
Anya Rous
James Scales
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Kelindah Schuster
Kate Skeele
Ripley Soprano
Dean Spade
Eric A Stanley
Albert Tholen
Sylvana Valeri
Sam Vinal
Visual AIDS
Lewis Wallace
Jo McPhedran Waltzer
Thomas Weinreich
Ethan Weinstock
Nicholas Weist
Alisha Williams
Tina Zavitsanos

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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte