‘Dark Room’ – A Phyllis Christopher Monograph (2021)

Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988–2003, published by Book Works (2021), is the first book to spotlight Phyllis Christopher’s trailblazing photographs documenting lesbian erotic life and political struggle. Revealing a history that speaks to present queer feminist politics today, the book will feature an expertly handled edit of 100 images, alongside new writing by Laura Guy, Susie Bright, Michelle Tea, and an interview with Shar Rednour.

Dark Room: San Francisco Sex And Protest 1988-2003
by P. Christopher
Publisher: Book Works (January 2, 2022)
Language: English
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-10: 1912570076
ISBN-13: 978-1912570072

‘‘Dark Room’ is a rare collection of lesbian erotic and protest photographs taken by Phyllis Christopher during the period of her life spent living in San Francisco. This explosive and tender body of work connects struggles for lesbian visibility, sex positivity, and bodily autonomy to expressions of gender subversion and queer community. At the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States, amid mainstream censorship and misinformation about sex, Christopher captured a countercultural insistence on the politics of pleasure – a community fighting for sexual and artistic freedoms in both public and intimate settings. The book brings together fifteen years of Christopher’s work.’ – Amazon.com

Artist Biography

Phyllis Christopher was born in Buffalo, NY; lived and worked extensively in San Francisco and the Bay Area before moving to the North of England, Gateshead, where she now lives and works.

Phyllis Christopher is a photographer whose work documenting LGBTQ sexuality and protest in San Francisco has been published widely in anthologies such as Nothing But The Girl: The Blatant Lesbian Image (Susie Bright and Jill Posener, 1996), Photo Sex: Fine Art Sexual Photography Comes of Age (David Steinberg, 2003), Art & Queer Culture (Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer, 2013) as well as magazines such as DIVA, Aperture and Art Monthly. Between 1991 and 1994 Christopher was the photo editor of the groundbreaking lesbian erotica magazine On Our Backs. She has featured on HBO’s ‘Sexbytes’, Canadian television’s ‘Sex TV’ and the documentary film, Erotica – A Journey into Female Sexuality. Recently, her photographs have been included in various exhibitions including On Our Backs: An Archive (The NewBridge Project, Newcastle, 2016) and Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance (Nottingham Contemporary, De La Warr Pavilion and Arnolfini, Bristol, 2019). She is a 2020 finalist of the Queer|Art Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers.” – Grand Union, UK