Historically, “queer” was the slur used against those who were perceived to be or made to feel abnormal. Beginning in the 1980s, “queer” was reappropriated and embraced as a badge of honor. While queer draws its politics and affective force from the history of non-normative, gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities, it is not equivalent to these categories, nor is it an identity. Rather, it offers a strategic undercutting of the stability of identity and of the dispensation of power that shadows the assignment of categories and taxonomies. Artists who identify their practices as queer today call forth utopian and dystopian alternatives to the ordinary, adopt outlaw stances, embrace criminality and opacity, and forge unprecedented kinships, relationships, loves, and communities.
Rather than a book of queer theory for artists, this is a book of artists’ queer tactics and infectious concepts. By definition, there can be no singular “queer art.” Here, in the first Documents of Contemporary Art anthology to be centered on artists’ writings, numerous conversations about queer practice are brought together from diverse individual, social and cultural contexts. Together these texts describe and examine the ways in which artists have used the concept of queer as a site of political and institutional critique, as a framework to develop new families and histories, as a spur to action, and as a basis from which to declare inassimilable difference.
Artists and writers include
Nayland Blake, Gregg Bordowitz, Leigh Bowery, AA Bronson, A. K. Burns, Giuseppe Campuzano, Tee Corinne, Barbara DeGenevieve, Dyke Action Machine!, Elmgreen & Dragset, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Simon Fujiwara, Malik Gaines, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gran Fury, Sunil Gupta, Hahn Thi Pham, Harmony Hammond, Sharon Hayes, Hudson, Roberto Jacoby, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Mahmoud Khaled, Zoe Leonard, Lesbian Avengers, Catherine Lord, Ma Liuming, LTTR, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Carlos Motta, Ocaña, Hélio Oiticica, Catherine Opie, Ridykeulous (Nicole Eisenman & A.L. Steiner), Marlon Riggs, Emily Roysdon, Prem Sahib, Assoto Saint, Tejal Shah, Amy Sillman, Jack Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Toxic Titties, Danh Vo, David Wojnarowicz, Wu Tsang, Yan Xing, Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Akram Zaatari, Sergio Zevallos
About the Editor
David J. Getsy is Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His books include Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender, Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, and Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture.
- Queer (Documents of Contemporary Art)
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Nest issue 7
Marketed as an interior design magazine, and edited by Joseph Holtzman, Nest generally eschewed the conventionally beautiful luxury interiors showcased in other magazines, and instead featured photographs of nontraditional, exceptional, and unusual environments. Fred A. Bernstein, writing in the New York Times, wrote that Joseph Holtzman “believed that an igloo, a prison cell or a child’s attic room (adorned with Farrah Fawcett posters) could be as compelling as a room by a famous designer.” During its run, Nest showed the room of a 40-year-old diaper lover, the lair of an Indonesian bird that decorates with coloured stones and vomit, the final resting place of Napoleon’s penis, the quarters of Navy seamen, a barbed-wire-trimmed bed that doubled as a tank, and a Gothic Christmas card from filmmaker John Waters. Noted architect Rem Koolhaas called it “an anti-materialistic, idealistic magazine about the hyperspecific in a world that is undergoing radical leveling, an ‘interior design’ magazine hostile to the cosmetic.” Artist Richard Tuttle was quoted as saying that Mr. Holtzman “channeled the collective unconscious, to give us the pleasure of ornament before we even knew we wanted it.”
Nest issue 7, Winter 1999-2000 features, amongst much more: sculptor Scott Burton, Gingerbread house sculptor Nayland Blake documented by Nan Goldin, Diana Vreeland’s apartment, Cairo’s City of The Dead, Tom Sachs’ “Bitch Lounge” photographed by Nathaniel Goldberg, the interiors of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), The tower of Eben-Ezer, jewerly designer Fulco do Verdura’s Villa Niscemi in Silicy (of Lampedusa’s The Leopard novel, and Antonioni’s L’Avventura fame), and much more… A magazine like no other before or since.
* Condition: Good (general wear) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.
- Nest issue 7
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