Lulu en el jardin

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020         7:30PM          Salus Center

A Q&A with the Director will follow this screening.

For directions, please click HERE.

Genre: Documentary, LGBTQ+


This experimental documentary project explores the personal narrative and historical events surrounding the institutionalization of my Latina lesbian mother at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center in the 1970s. Utilizing standard audio and video ethnographic techniques mixed with archival investigation, the documentary form is queered through sculpture, photography, music and poetry. These works interrogate multiple aspects of institutional obfuscation, cultural erasures, race, migration, gender and sexuality as they pan out in haptic memory and queer-time.


Jose Luis Benavides (b. 1986 Chicago, IL) is an artist, writer and educator. He has worked as a teaching artist with the National Museum of Mexican Art, Young Chicago Authors, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education and the Chicago Public Library. He has also taught within the Cook County jail system and he is an active project manager with the Illinois Deaths in Custody Project. He has presented about his work at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Block Party (2018); and the Chicago Archives + Artists Festival (2018); American Studies Association conference (2018); and for Mutual Interpretations at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2017).

Benavides held his first solo show at Terremoto in Mexico City (2018) and his experimental documentary, Lulu en el Jardín was an Official Selection of Collected Voices: Chicago Ethnography Film Festival (2018). This film, his first feature, was also awarded honorable mentions at LA Underground Film Forum (2018) and Experimental Forum (2018).

As a lead organizer he presented Latinx Disambiguations at Threewalls (2018) and programmed Sin Cinta Previa: Latin(a)x and Queer Archive Video Series as part of the Arts Leaders of Color Network at Comfort Station (2018). As a recipient of the Propeller Grant (2017) he furthered his work with the Illinois Deaths in Custody Project programming Mom’s Day Cards Against Prisons held this past Mother’s Day (2018) and curating an adjoining exhibition of the Read/Write Library’s collection of prison abolition materials going back to the 1990s.