It’s Big. It’s Queer. It’s Arty as All Get Out. It’s ReMix: Reframing Appropriation at SOMArts Gallery, and it’s opening Friday and running through June.
Join the Queer Cultural Center in a Reunion of 15 years of visual arts programs housed at SOMArts! There will, of course, be libations to take us into the next 15 years and special recognition of those who have participated in exhibitions from FACE (1998) to QIY (2011) and the curators, funders and supporting organizations that made these shows happen!
Wear your best outfits, pick up your nametags at the door and come back to SOMArts for a fabulous Visual Arts Reunion!
ReMix: ReFraming Appropriation mines 15 years of National Queer Arts Festival exhibitions towards understanding the centrality of the act of appropriation for queer art of the recent past. Using appropriation as its lens, it sifts through all the art exhibited over the last 15 years, selecting those works for redisplay that map the parameters of queer appropriation as it has evolved through to today.
Curated by Jonathan D. Katz, former Board Member and one of the first curators of the National Queer Arts Festival, ReMix: ReFraming Appropriation in essence appropriates years of appropriations in order to both articulate and enact how queer politics so often turns on making familiar images and ideas ventriloquize new politics, new identities, and new utopias. This show revisits some of the many powerful works exhibited since the inception of the National Queer Arts Festival 15 years ago and remixes them in an effort to isolate a key theme of queer art making since at least the 1990s: appropriation. Appropriation—taking over of an extant cultural form to make it speak in a new voice—has long been a queer strategy. It’s a way of remaking dominant culture from within, as queers often do; most of us were born of a straight world, yet found a way to carve out meanings that spoke to us even if they were not intended by the larger culture. Notably, the exhibition is itself an example of the phenomenon it investigates, for it appropriates previous exhibitions–and curatorial visions–to new effect, allowing these varied works, all previously seen, to return in a new form, with new meanings. It queers the queer.
Posted in Art and Artists, GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., San Francisco
Tagged Appropriation, Art, California, Culture, Gay, Gay Gaze, Jonathan D. Katz, LGBT, NQAF, Photography, QCC, Queer, Re-mix: Reframing Appropriation, San Francisco, Sexy, SOMA, Somarts
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.
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.
Posted in Art and Artists, Beards, Collecting, DIY and Maker Culture, Eric Robinson, Facial hair, Leather, Men, Photography, San Francisco, Southern Illinois, Subcultures
Tagged 19th century, Ambrotype, Art, BDSM, Culture, Dore Alley, Eric Robinson, Gay, Kink, Leather, Leathermen, LGBT, Old Guard, Photography, QIY, Queer Arts Festival, Queer It Yourself, San Francisco, Sexy, SOMA, Somarts, Up Your Alley Fair
San Francisco artist and friend of this site Richard Bolingbroke
recently visited a video installation at the exhibit Breathed…Unsaid…Exploring Personal Encounters with Cultural Diaspora
at San Francisco’s Somarts Gallery. He took photographs of his shadow playing across the screen to produce these King Lear-like images: a solitary figure in silhouette, seemingly struggling with the burden of power – or maybe just raging against the oncoming storm. For more on Bolingbroke and his more typical methods of art-making, click here