Tag Archives: QIY

Richard Bolingbroke’s Family Portraits at QIY – Big Gay Art Show in SF

Opening Saturday from 1-4 pm at SOMArts: Queer It Yourself: Tools for Survival. How do we make and do things that will have a lasting import? Straight culture has its traditions, institutions and social formulations and so have we. Sometimes they are parallel, other times a bit askew. When queers ask one another: “Is he family?” the word means something very different than when it is deployed as a semiotic weapon, as is the case with the coded phrase “family values.” How can we reconfigure notions (ie: the family) that have historically been used to separate, condemn and alienate us into useful tools for our collective long-term survival?

Artist and friend of this site Richard Bolingbroke explains how this works for him:

“These two pieces are part of my series Family Portrait in which I portray the men and women I am close to. As a gay man I needed to create my own ‘Family’ and I decided to document it myself rather than let straight society do it for me.. These men are my lovers and close friends. This is my community, my family. There are over 40 drawings in this series and these two of Frank and Luca, and Gary and Joe, are of couples who have both been together over 30 years.”

You can see Bolingbroke’s portraits, and lots of other fresh art Saturday afternoon at SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street in San Francisco. Opening at the same time in the side gallery: A History of Queer Street Art. More on that later.

Eric Robinson’s “Leathermen” at QIY: Queer It Yourself – Big Gay Art Show

Eric Robinson and "Leathermen" at Las Manos Gallery in Chicago

Eric Robinson’s wet-plate ambrotypes will be showing as part of QIY: Queer It Yourself, which opens Saturday at SOMArts. The exhibit presents alternative, queer, do-it-yourself processes and projects, collaborations, zines, posters, green architecture, activist interventions and recuperations of low-tech media. Robinson took his 19th century kit (big awkard camera, portable darkroom, an array of chemicals, beakers and trays…) to the Dore “Up Your Alley” Fair in 2010, supplementing a series of portraits of Leathermen that he began the previous year. Images from that series will be on exhibit. More on Robinson here, here, here and here.

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Robinson at work making wet-plate ambrotypes. These one-of-a-kind photographs on glass were common during the mid 19th century. As it disappears into the digital realm, this work reminds us of the physical, chemical and optical origins of photography. At the same time, generic conventions suggest that “fetish” photography should be slick and polished, suitable for publication in magazines, and “straight” in the photographic sense. These images kick that cliche, their hand-hewn aesthetic underscoring the sense that we are looking into not only the history of photography, but that of Leather. Old Guard all around…

QIY is part of the National Queer Arts Festival. This year’s theme is A Sustainable Queer Planet. More on the festival here and more soon. QIY opens Saturday, June 4th with a reception from 1pm until 4pm. SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan at 8th St. in San Francisco. The gallery is tucked under the freeway, just to the east of the Trader Joe’s complex.

A Sustainable Queer Planet? 14th Annual National Queer Arts Fest opens in SF

Philip Huang performs June 9 & 10 at Eros

We have made it this far. What next? How can we keep what we have created and protect it for the generations coming up? The theme of this year’s National Queer Arts Festival is A Sustainable Queer Planet. Presented by The Queer Cultural Center, the festival includes 22 venues and runs for a month. An array of performers, poets, writers, visual artists, musicians, comedians and dancers work through diverse notions of sustainability. Organizations, collaborations, friendships, political movements, publications, networks, connectivity, intentional communities, Queer families, and various ecological and economic interventions are all well represented in this month-long festival. High Holy Homo Days are upon us!

Watch this space for notices and commentaries on select individual programs. Philip Huang, pictured above, performs in Formerly Known As: Performances by Male and Trans Sex Workers. This two-day program, hosted by Kirk Read, takes place at The Center for Sex and Culture, and features a different line-up each night. It includes writers, performance artists, comedians and a slideshow of visual work. For a complete listing of festival offerings, visit The Queer Cultural Center’s site here.

QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival. Call for Artists and Makers. Big Gay June Show in San Francisco.

As a part of the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival, “A Sustainable Queer Planet,” the Visual Arts Committee of the Queer Cultural Center presents: QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival

Inspired by the late 1960s utopian builders’ guide A Whole Earth Catalog, QIY – Tools for Survival presents an exhibition of queer do-it-yourself culture and alternative world making.

QIY is envisioned as a laboratory for creating a sustainable queer culture and demonstrating the power of self and community organizing, re-creation, speculation, and transformation. As an antidote to anti-sociality theories of queerness (that suggest queerness can only be rendered as a negation of heteronormativity), Queer It Yourself invites artists to forge their own tools for surviving the everyday challenges of contemporary queer existence.

This exhibition encourages artists to develop workstations, participatory spaces, hands-on training areas, maps, and information kiosks. We seek workshops and lectures that create immersive and interactive experiences for viewers. We also encourage educational workshops that will help artists and newly forming artists groups to write grants, and to better understand the arts funding world.

Queering the index of the original Whole Earth Catalog, the various sections of the QIY exhibition include:

Land Use / Dig it (organic farming, community gardens, eco-projects, cruising sites, earthworks, recycling projects, rural gay culture, hippies and rednecks, RFD zine, Billy Club, 420 cultures, mountain men, off the grid living, survivalism, subsistence, indigenous and third world land use, border disputes)

Shelter / Sheltering (guides to urban and rural homemaking, urban and rural homelessness, cars, tents, bridges and freeway overhangs, tiny houses, pre-fab housing, visionary architecture, greening your living space, creating mood lighting with energy efficient fixtures, housing collectives, polyamorous living)

Craft Making / Queering it (queer arts and crafts, craft demos, how-to guides and workshops, how to use etsy.com, Blurb and self-publishing software, QIY kinky toys, homemade fashion and couture)

Commerce / Selling it (experiments with capitalism, fashion collectives, sexwork, alternative book, art, and product distribution, queer & LGBT marketing demographics, critiques, small businesses, barter, trade, resource-based economy vs. commodity-based economy)

Community / Join in (political organizing, queer community organizing, ad hoc political action committees, queer pride, gay shame, organizing your first demonstration, social & political groups, leather clubs, s/m networks, bike clubs)

Nomadics / Roaming (the culture of the road, the runway, the superhighway, jetsetting, transnationalism, queer diasporas, queer immigrant and exile cultures)

Communications / Connecting (zines, homo-hop and homo-core music, queer speed-dating, independent publishing, social networking, blogging, listserves, social media, flashmobs, promotional strategies, writing your first press release, street art, posters, stickers, queer graffiti)

Learning / Get Schooled (community art and culture projects, health activism, continuing education, grant writing and fundraising, guides for queer survival, mentorship, “training” in leather circles, drag “mothers”, informal or marginal methods of transmitting culture, service, apprenticeships)

Style / Working it (working the runway, drag king & queen culture, ball culture, leather, gear, street styles, rural styles, international styles, fashion and make-up tips and tricks, makeover demonstrations, finding the right photographer for your head-shot)

We welcome artwork, ephemera, documentation, publications, zines, music, videos, installations, DIY kits, guides, instruction manuals, maps, charts, top-ten tips, alternative cosmologies, proposals for live demonstrations, workshops and interactive QIY workstations.

Propose a history of Zine culture, show work of collective art projects, show artifacts of ad hoc political action committees, give live demonstrations of quilting and queer homemaking, offer a do-it-yourself stencil-making so that you too can be a street artist, and much more…

If you are a San Francisco based artists’ space, gallery or collective and would like to propose a satellite show, we’d like to hear from you!

Qcc’s 2011 curatorial committee members include: Terry Berlier, Cheryl Dunye, Josh Faught, Rudy Lemcke, Matt McKinley, Pam Peniston, Jordy Jones, and Tina Takemoto.

Grab your seeds and shovels, duct tape and twine, glitter and hot glue guns! It’s time to Queer It Yourself!

National Queer Arts Festival 2011

Visual Arts Exhibition

SOMArts Gallery, San Francisco. June 2011

Deadline: February 22, 2011

To submit a proposal: QIF Call For Proposals