Strange Bedfellows: Collaborative Practice in Queer Art
Sept 23 – Dec 13
Samek Art Gallery
Oct 3, 8:00pm
Drag Show and opening reception!
Featuring performers from CC’s of Sunbury
Oct 29, 7:30pm
Portrait of Jason, film screening
Presented at the Campus Theatre in partnership with
BU Film/Media Studies
Nov 13, 6:00pm
Amy Cancelmo, guest curator in person
Gallery Theatre, curator’s talk followed by reception
The artists that I present in Strange Bedfellows range in their gender and sexual identities, politics, and strategies for collaboration. Queer is often used as a blanket term that attempts to encompass the range of diversity within the GLBTQQI population, but queerness can be defined as both an expression of non-heteronormative sexuality or gender expression, or as a social and political stance. Queer is a noun, but it is also a verb. To queer something is to make it strange, to present an alternative, and provide a point of rupture in what we think we know.
Collaboration and queerness can both be spaces of social, political, personal, and artistic revolution. In presenting alternatives to the singular author paradigm, collaborative practice like queer politics can be read as a critique of the systems of hegemony, in this case capitalistic and individualistic notions of authorship.
It‘s possible to theorize that collaborative practice positions itself in radical opposition to commodification and traditional concepts of authorship and identity, and is therefor queering the singular artist / author paradigm. But working collectively does not automatically mean working in critical opposition. There are many reasons for collaboration including the logistical. Queers have long relied on collaborative practice for a variety of reasons, not the least of which have been physical and emotional safety, or political presence.
In this exhibition I’ve attempted to present a range of strategies and situations to explore the roles I see collaboration playing in contemporary queer art practice including the personal, performative, and political.
I am inspired by the creative ways that these artists engage in their lives and practice. It’s an honor to share their work in this exhibition. I am grateful for the support of Root Division, Queer Cultural Center, Rainbow Grocery, the Endeavor Foundation for the Arts, the College Art Association, the Queer Caucus for the Arts, Bucknell University and the Samek Art Gallery, Columbia College of the Arts and the Averill and Bernard Leviton A + D Gallery for their generous support of this project.
-Amy Cancelmo, Guest Curator