1950 (age 63–64)
Derry, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Occupation||Writer, filmmaker, photographer|
Gary Indiana (born 1950 as Gary Hoisington in Derry, New Hampshire) is an American writer, filmmaker, and visual artist. He teaches philosophy and literature at the New School in New York City. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.
Gary Indiana's fiction is directly contemporary. He is perhaps best known for his loose trilogy of books based on notorious criminals in the media spotlight. While Three Month Fever is presented as an account of Andrew Cunanan, the man who murdered Gianni Versace, it uses fictional recreations of undocumented conversations and events to explore contemporary American obsession with celebrity and fame. More obviously a novel, Resentment seems nevertheless to be an account, or perhaps a speculative exploration, of the case of California brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, convicted of the murder of their parents, though names and other details have been changed. Another fictionalization of real events can be found in Depraved Indifference, in which Indiana makes use of the case of Sante and Kenneth Kimes, mother-and-son con artists convicted of murdering heiress Irene Silverman (though again, names and details are changed). Indiana uses these stories to explore sexuality, violence, money, the media, and the contemporary American scene—with a special focus, perhaps, on those aspects of it associated with postmodernity. These three novels share aspects of satire with much of the rest of Indiana's oeuvre, and features of postmodern literary practice are also employed to varying degrees.
Indiana has also based multiple novels on fictionalized events from his own life and those of his associates and contemporaries. Gone Tomorrow, for example, mines his history as a film actor, particularly his work with German director Dieter Schidor and others in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's circle. Years later, Indiana returned to the raw material of his own life for Do Everything in the Dark, in which characters from earlier novels such as Horse Crazy and Gone Tomorrow return in a later, more melancholic stage of life.
In 2009, New York-based independent publishers Two Dollar Radio published Indiana's most recent novel, The Shanghai Gesture. (The Shanghai Gesture is also the name of a 1941 film by Josef von Sternberg.)
Indiana wrote, directed, and acted in a dozen plays before he published his first novel in 1987. His collaborators were pulled from a distinctly avant-garde company of actors, artists, composers, and writers. Performers included Bill Rice, Larry Mitchell, Cookie Mueller, Evan Lurie, Allen Frame, Warhol superstar Viva, and Taylor Mead.
Performed in small New York venues like the Mudd Club, Club 57, the Performing Garage, and Bill Rice's East 3rd Street studio, works included "Alligator Girls Go to College" (1979), "The Roman Polanski Story" (1981), and the very well regarded "Roy Cohn/Jack Smith", performed by Ron Vawter and filmed by Jill Godmilow.
Semiotext(e) has collected Indiana's scripts in Last Seen Entering the Biltmore: Plays, Short Fiction, Poems, 1975–2010.
In the early 1980s, Indiana established his name in art wrote several extended essays for Art in America, then joined the New York weekly The Village Voice as art critic in 1985. He then went on to concentrate on his literary work. He has subsequently returned to art writing as a contributor to Artforum and to catalogues and monographs of, among others, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Wool, Cameron Jamie, Roberto Juarez, and Nancy Chunn. Samples of his work for Art in America, the Voice and Artforum, among other publications from this period, have been collected in the anthology Let It Bleed: Essays 1985–1995. A later collection, Utopia's Debris, collects further critical pieces.
Today, Indiana writes on a wide variety of cultural phenomena, covering topics from art, literature and film to politics and the media. He has authored a study of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò for the British Film Institute; The Schwarzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt, an account of Arnold Schwarzenegger's election to the governorship of California and its broader cultural implications; and Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World, Indiana's account of the iconic Andy Warhol exhibition of 1962, 32 Soup Cans.
For Faber and Faber, Indiana edited Living with the Animals, an anthology in which various writers and artists explore human connections with animals.
Between 1979 and the mid-1980s, Indiana acted in experimental films by Dieter Schidor, Ulrike Ottinger, and other European directors. His novel Gone Tomorrow reflects his experiences on the set, particularly his time working on Schidor's 1985 film, Cold in Columbia.
- Scar Tissue and Other Stories (1987) (short stories)
- White Trash Boulevard (1988) (short stories)
- Horse Crazy (1989) (novel)
- Gone Tomorrow (1993) (novel)
- Rent Boy (1994) (novel)
- Let It Bleed: Essays 1985–1995 (1996) (non-fiction)
- Resentment: A Comedy (1997) (novel)
- Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story (1999) (non-fiction)
- Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (2000) (non-fiction)
- Depraved Indifference (2002) (novel)
- Do Everything in the Dark (2003) (novel)
- The Schwarzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt (2005) (non-fiction)
- Utopia's Debris: Selected Essays (2008) (non-fiction)
- The Shanghai Gesture (2009) (novel)
- Andy Warhol and the Can that Sold the World (2010) (non-fiction)
- Last Seen Entering the Biltmore: Plays, Short Fiction, Poems 1975–2010 (2010) (fiction)
- To Whom It May Concern, a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois. London: Violette Editions, 2010.
- The Gary Indiana Papers at the Fales Library, New York University
- Interview with The Advocate, 2002
- Interview with The Village Voice, 2002
- Gary Indiana at the Internet Movie Database
- Keith Ridgway on Horse Crazy in The Guardian
- October 29, 2005 Reader's Letter to Masters of Cinema's robert-bresson.com site
- Gary Indiana entry in glbtq
- Profile of Indiana in Vice Magazine, 2012