Gary Indiana

Gary Indiana (born 1950 as Gary Hoisington in Derry, New Hampshire[1]) is an American writer, actor, artist, and cultural critic.[2] He served as the art critic for the Village Voice weekly newspaper from 1985 to 1988.

Gary Indiana
BornGary Hoisington
1950 (age 6869)
Derry, New Hampshire, U.S.
OccupationWriter, filmmaker, artist, actor, critic


Indiana has written, directed and acted in a dozen plays, mostly during the early 1980s. Performed in small New York City venues like Mudd Club, Club 57, the Performing Garage and the backyard of Bill Rice's East 3rd Street studio, the earlier plays included Alligator Girls Go to College (1979); Curse of the Dog People (1980); A Coupla White Faggots Sitting Around Talking (1980), which was filmed by Michel Auder in 1981; The Roman Polanski Story (1981); Phantoms of Louisiana (1981) and Roy Cohn/Jack Smith (1992), written with Jack Smith for performance artist Ron Vawter.[3][4][5] The latter was filmed in 1994 by Jill Godmilow.[6]

A more recent play, Mrs. Watson's Missing Parts, was staged in May 2013 at Participant Inc. It drastically alters a 1922 Grand Guignol theatrical adaptation of Octave Mirbeau's novel The Torture Garden by replacing all dialogue with an "almost incomprehensible" obscenity-laden libidinal glossolalia.[7][8]


Indiana has acted in several mostly experimental films by, among others, Michel Auder (Seduction of Patrick ,1979, which he co-wrote with the director), Scott B and Beth B (The Trap Door, 1980), Melvie Arslanian (Stiletto, 1981, where he plays a bellhop at the bellhopless Chelsea Hotel), Jackie Raynal (Hotel New York, 1984), Ulrike Ottinger (Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse, 1984, with Veruschka as Dorian Gray and Delphine Seyrig as Doctor Mabuse), Lothar Lambert (Fräulein Berlin, 1984), Dieter Schidor (Cold in Columbia, 1985), Valie Export (The Practice of Love, 1985) and Christoph Schlingensief (Terror 2000: Intensivstation Deutschland, 1994, in which Udo Kier kills his character with a machine gun).[9][10] John Boskovich’s 2001 film North features Indiana reading from the Céline novel of the same name.[11]

Indiana's novel Gone Tomorrow reflects his experiences on set, particularly his time working on Cold in Columbia.[12]


Indiana's video Stanley Park (2013) was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Combining footage of a former Cuban prison, the Panopticon-like Presidio Modelo, jellyfish and cuts from the films A Touch of Evil and The Shanghai Gesture, the work connects the consequences of global environmental degradation with increasingly repressive governmental practices. Used as a metaphor for state surveillance, the jellyfish was described by Indiana as “an organism with no brain and a thousand poisonous tentacles collecting what you could call data.” Photographs of young Cuban men appeared next to the video.[13][14]

Semiotext(e) published 22 pamphlets for the biennial, including Indiana's A Significant Loss of Human Life, which extends the video's themes by juxtaposing the artist's experiences of Cuba as it is slowly being drawn into the global economy with commentary on the ideas of Karl Marx.[15]

In addition to Stanley Park, publicly screened video art by Indiana includes Soap (2004–2012), inspired by the Francis Ponge poem; Plutot la vie (2005), concerning the Society of the Spectacle and mass hypnosis; Unfinished Story (2004–2005), which records readings by and conversations between Indiana and photographer Lynn Davis; and Young Ginger (2014)



  • (1987) Scar Tissue and Other Stories ISBN 978-0930762094
  • (1988) White Trash Boulevard ISBN 978-0937815205
  • (1989) Horse Crazy ISBN 978-0802111104
  • (1991) Disorderly Conduct: The VLS Fiction Reader (contributor) ISBN 978-1852422455
  • (1993) Gone Tomorrow ISBN 978-1852423360
  • (1994) Rent Boy ISBN 978-1852423247
  • (1994) Living With the Animals (editor, contributor) ISBN 978-0571198504
  • (1997) Resentment: A Comedy ISBN 978-1584351726
  • (1999) Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story ISBN 978-1584351986
  • (2002) Depraved Indifference ISBN 978-0060197261
  • (2003) Do Everything in the Dark ISBN 978-0312312053
  • (2009) The Shanghai Gesture ISBN 978-0982015100
  • (2010) Last Seen Entering the Biltmore: Plays, Short Fiction, Poems 1975–2010 ISBN 978-1584350903
  • (2011) To Whom It May Concern (limited edition artist's book with Louise Bourgeois) ISBN 978-1900828369
  • (2016) Tiny Fish that Only Want to Kiss ISBN 978-0991219667


  • (1987) Lucas Samaras: Chairs and Drawings (for Pace Gallery) ISBN 978-9997028365
  • (1987) Roberto Juarez (for Robert Miller Gallery)
  • (1989) Life Under Neon: Paintings and Drawings of Times Square 1981–1988 (Jane Dickson catalogue for Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design; contributor)
  • (1996) Let It Bleed: Essays 1985–1995 ISBN 978-1852423322
  • (1996) Aura Rosenberg: Head Shots ISBN 978-1881616566
  • (1997) Front Pages (Nancy Chunn catalogue for the Corcoran Gallery of Art; contributor) ISBN 978-0847820818
  • (1997) Hunt Slonem: Exotica (for Colby College Museum of Art; contributor) ISBN 978-0964444836
  • (1998) Christopher Wool (for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; contributor) ISBN 978-3931141912
  • (1999) Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You (for the Museum of Contemporary Art; contributor) ISBN 978-0262112505
  • (2000) Valie Export: Ob/De+Con(Struction) (for Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design; contributor) ISBN 978-1584420514
  • (2000) BFI Film Classics: Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom ISBN 978-0851708072
  • (2004) BFI Film Classics: Viridiana ISBN 978-1844570416
  • (2004) John Waters: Change of Life (for the New Museum of Contemporary Art; contributor) ISBN 978-0810943063
  • (2005) The Schwarzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt ISBN 978-1565849518
  • (2005) Kathe Burkhart: Bad Girl: Works from 1983–2000 ISBN 978-0976544302
  • (2005) Paul Kostabi ISBN 978-8888064482
  • (2006) Cameron Jamie (contributor) ISBN 978-3775717267
  • (2008) Utopia's Debris: Selected Essays ISBN 978-0465002481
  • (2009) Paul Pfeiffer (contributor) ISBN 978-8496954595
  • (2009) Chaos and Night by Henry de Montherlant (introduction to the NYRB Classics edition) ISBN 978-1590173046
  • (2010) Dike Blair: Now and Again (for the Weatherspoon Art Museum; contributor) ISBN 978-1890949129
  • (2010) Andy Warhol and the Can that Sold the World ISBN 978-0465002337
  • (2010) Roni Horn: Well and Truly (for Kunsthaus Bregenz; contributor) ISBN 978-3865608161
  • (2010) Coma by Pierre Guyotat (introduction to the Semiotext(e) edition) ISBN 978-1584350897
  • (2011) Dead Flowers (monograph on Timothy Carey; contributor) ISBN 978-0980232424
  • (2012) Bye Bye American Pie (for MALBA Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires) ISBN 978-9871271429
  • (2013) Damián Aquiles ISBN 978-8881588688
  • (2014) Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller (contributor) ISBN 978-3942214209
  • (2014) A Significant Loss of Human Life ISBN 978-1584351504
  • (2015) Tracey Emin: Angel Without You (for the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami; contributor) ISBN 978-0847841158
  • (2015) I Can Give You Anything But Love ISBN 978-0847846863
  • (2015) Tal R: Altstadt Girl (for Cheim & Read) ISBN 978-0991468157
  • (2017) Roni Horn (contributor) ISBN 978-3791356600
  • (2018) Ivory Pearl by Jean-Patrick Manchette (afterward for the NYRB Classics edition) ISBN 978-1681372105
  • (2018) Vile Days: The Village Voice Art Columns, 1985–1988 ISBN 978-1635900378

Critical studies and essays on Indiana's work


  1. Kaczorowski, Craig. "Indiana, Gary (b. 1950)". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  2. Gary Indiana Semiotext(e) Biography
  3. Maxwell, Justin (Fall 2011). "Review: Last Seen Entering the Biltmore: Plays, Short Fiction, Poems 1975–2010". Rain Taxi. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  4. Holden, Stephen (May 3, 1992). "Two Strangers Meet Through an Actor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  5. Jeppesen, Travis (April 25, 2011). "New York Dolls". 3:AM Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  6. Holden, Stephen (August 4, 1995). "2 Extremes of Gay Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  7. Barron, Michael (April 2016). "Interview with Gary Indiana". The White Review. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  8. "Reading: Mrs. Watson's Missing Parts". ART HAPS. May 12, 2013. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  9. "Irma Vep Interviews Gary Indiana". Uncanca. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  10. "Stiletto (1981)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  11. "North (2001), Dir. John Boskovich, Starring Gary Indiana". The Renaissance Society. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  12. Kaczorowski, Craig. "Indiana, Gary (b. 1950)". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  13. "Gary Indiana: Stanley Park". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  14. Miller, M.H. (April 22, 2014). "Sleep When I'm Dead: Gary Indiana Might Be Out of Print, But He's Still Going Strong". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  15. Indiana, Gary (April 2014). "The Terrace". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
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