Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Queering Artworks: a Definition (?)

Here is a text I wrote about Queering and its definition in an art context. As a volunteer for the Queer Eye Group at Leeds Art Gallery, I learnt a lot about Queer visual culture and was fascinated by the process of queering artworks. Also, I added a text wrote by Jude Woods, Community Curator, about her definition of queering and published in the leaflet of the PomoGaze festival, hold at Leeds Art Gallery last July. Please feel free to share your definition of queering!

Queering could be defined as an active way of questioning genders and identities. For instance, what makes someone or something male or female? Is it its natural characteristic or its social construction? Queering is also there to question the heteronormativity of the society, how the society revolves around the idea of a man and a woman being in a relationship. Queering is opening doors to others and letting them question the world we all live in. 
Asking questions is the basis of queering, when q.ing artworks new questions emerged. Queering an art collection starts by asking questions about how genders are represented in arts, either among the artworks or among the artists themselves. Why are women mostly represented naked and men in a powerful position? 

As part of the Queer Eye Group, volunteers raised questions about the collection at Leeds Art Gallery, and how different communities were represented or not in the collection. Along with other activities, volunteers selected 8 artworks which they thought were queer, the list is not set in stone and everyone can have their own list (and is encouraged to!). These artworks presented by the volunteers revolve around several issues: sexuality, normativity, gender …  

Here a short selection of books: 

Catherine Lorde (ed.), Richard Meyer (ed.), Art and Queer Culture, London, Phaidon Press, 2013. 

Renate Lorenz, Queer Art, London, Transaction Publishers, 2012. 

Michael Warner, The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, Cambridge (USA), Harvard University Press, 2000. 

PomoGaze festival's leaflet (Leeds, 11th July 2015) 

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