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Stephen Cummins

Author 
Andrew Frost

Stephen Cummins was an Australian filmmaker, curator and artist active during the 1980s and early 1990s. A founder-member of Queer Screen, Cummins' work was an early contribution to Queer Theory and cinema studies and a number of his works, particularly in Super 8, are considered historically significant.

Cummins' Super 8 films included Blue Movie and Breathbeat [both 1984] Deadpan [1985], and Le Corps Image [1987], each film demonstrating the artist's fascination with the subcultural signification of the male body. Later projects such as Elevation [1989] - a project funded by the Australian Film Commission - was a 16mm film project extending and refining Cummins's approach. Resonance [1991] - made in collaboration with Simon Hunt - was screened internationally picking up a number of awards including being voted Best Short Film at the 38th Sydney Film Festival [1991], Best Australian film at the National Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Turin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Italy [1992]. Cummins also made film and video projects for broadcast. The 1992 project Life's Burning Desire [52 mins, Betacam] and the short Body Corporate [9 mins, Super 8, 1993] were both screened on SBS Australia.

As a curator, Cummins organised programs of Australian Super 8 film to tour Europe and the US such as Eclectic Dreams [1986], 34° S 151° E [1987] and Surface Imprint [1989]. Cummins' curated programs of film for Australian festivals including Bent, a program of SPLASH: The Sydney Film and Video Event at the Chauvel Cinema [1988].

Cummins graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture/Photography from Sydney College of the Arts in 1984 and was awarded a Graduate Diploma, also from SCA, in 1986. From 1990 until the time of his death in 1994 Cummins was enrolled in the Master of Art Program at the University of Technology.

Date 
b. 1960 – d. 1994
Period of activity 
from 1982

Lives and works

Australia
Selected works
Selected events
Taste the Difference by Stephen Cummins, – from Taste The Difference (a.k.a Kiss), via Vimeo 
– from Deadpan, via d/Archive