Saturday, October 30, 2010

news of the minute: 'out and proud' objects

(This post relies heavily on the images that might potentially form in your cerebral areas)

I feel that the projected reader of this article is intended to be other than glbt - or it is addressed to 'dominant' hegemony or perceptions of sexuality (strongly aligned with gender stereotypes, even if there is an attempt being made to dismantle some of them).

It's not really addressed to the glbt reader (or a reader sensitive to glbt experience). Or if it is, then the glbt reader must ghost as a non-glbt reader for a time, or draw on a time prior to their adoption of glbt circumference, or draw on a communal memory of a time prior to glbt-dom, if they were lucky enough to have not needed to adopt glbt radius, pie or square root, and instead were 'born as'). For example it's not saying anything directly about the different lifestyles, beliefs or attitudes that glbt individuals have or lead. Nor how glbt might see the world in relation to other glbt people - not to mention attitudes to war, nationalism, identity, gender, relationships, etc. which are mono-mobilized and for me remain unsung here.

You can be gay and own a poster signed by ye-olde-Bush - and that liberal-meets-conservative contradiction (a hinted-at contradiction seems to be a recognizable form of normative subjectivity in the context of this article) is then mobilized to absorb the homosexual into an 'open' reality that has strict border controls. It's a doubling of 'contradiction' that acts as a means for absorption and absolution...

It's the petty relocation or shuffling of difference in this kind of article or address, which makes glbt experience appear mono-cultural to me.

AND it brings up the power-ambiguity of subjectivity.

If Hito was trying to think through an alternative to the power-ambiguity of subjectivity, proposing the historically bruised (or contingency-bruised) object, what are we left with as far as tools, thoughts, sensations, to live, work and act as or with:

  • a community of objects
  • objects which circulate a tangible uninhibited humanity
  • objects that can/can't possibly breach everyday humanity
  • objects that forage on the outskirts of power-as-humanity
  • objects of communities; a cancellation or corroboration of non-mono-subjective humanity
  • ...?

And a recap re: Sophie Calle via Yve-Alain Bois (Lecture)

Calle conjures the indefatigable reader
There is an overflow of affect (via anticipation) – there is a countdown and then an encounter
And the encounter is entropic
She pretends to be building a character
She makes manifest contingency
And the tragedies of impersonation

I respond:
She would remove her glasses and begin at the farthest point her sight allowed a figure to be defined. The closer the figure got, the harder it became for her to see in any detail the figure as it persisted into near distance. Sometimes she would resort to her prescription lenses to take in the full force of the figure’s advance.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Modern archeology, layering subjectivity

[A summary of sorts of our skype conversation. Please take a look here for a more direct response to Liz's questions/post skype thread which includes proposed agenda points for our next skype.]

With the accumulating a depth of cross-era and -genre material on the blog, I'm getting the feeling of a stacking up of images or a modern archeology. On a personal note, I'm feeling a little daunted the idea of representing the breath and strength of images, politics, and actions that have gone before!!! I do, however, feel more capable when thinking about presenting and layering these collectively.

I wonder how this collective layering go towards addressing some of the questions that were raised and left open in our recent skype regards Subjectivity and Accountability?
What risks are we taking?
Where are they located ?
...within the public nature of the personal reveal?
...within the public statement that is made?

Who do we want to speak to?
Who do we/want to represent in doing so?

In what ways can we acknowledge our subjectivity?

Is acknowledging this subjectivity enough?

How do we want to position our own subjectivity within the project to the wider GLBT context?

Could we utilise the title to address some of these issues?

Rachel's rather cheeky suggestion of splitting Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs over two of the light boxes forming a diptych got me thinking - that the eight lightboxes weave like a salon dressing screen...

I'm excited at the radical prospect raised in our recent skype of 'removing' the image in a couple of lightboxes (in place of text or smaller image) is another platform to consider material for and the possibilities it opens up. I'm interested in the proposition to 'jar' with the accepted space of the 2-year-old lightboxes, and layer the work on the surroundings - possibly stimulating a similar space to how Sharon Hayes' work operates/engages with people in the first person.

Differing from the space of advertising or public message, I'm interested in the how the light boxes might offer a space to unfix or undo images and in particular words...

So, does anyone have any text in mind? ...perhaps something found or something one of us has written?

Edgar Schmitz and Liam Gillick, Inverted Research Tool, 2006. image: Van Abbemuseum
What could these modes of attention be liberated for? Could they be made use of in some other ways? Could they become an instrument of liberation, as in the Inverted Research Tool (Edgar Schmitz and Liam Gillick)? [Irit Rogoff, 'Turning' e-flux]
And what happens if the image area is limited to a small area?

(Thanks Liz for the borrowed-borrowed images!)

I say it is because the young women are wonderful

This painting apparently marked the celebration of the love between Gabrielle d'Estrées and Henry IV, but when I saw your latest image, Clare, this painting appeared for me. Revelling in associative appropriation!

Unknown, Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs, 1594

Title Title II

I did some digging through the posts for a brainstorm-starter thread of sorts...

'accurate fictions of self ' tolerances in alignment
‘where it might be taking the left hand of darkness’ Veils
'bedroom as whitely lit stage'
Utopic blank stage-sets for re-staging the image
'action around the edges'
Douglas Crimp

Any potential beginnings of titles here or potential titles not on here?
Do these excite or generate new titles?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


what did we talk about? - what are we interested in carrying forward???
and - whats the next skype covering?
its at 4th thurs 9pm/9am

Utopic blank stage-sets for re-staging the image

"a ten foot by ten foot by foot stage....
...bedroom as whitely lit stage."

I decided to do these after loosing my enthusiasm then regaining it via the above quote from the Douglas Crimp audio, and our last skype conversation. Its provisional and a quick photography setup, and there are no images as you can see. The white rectangle pieces of cards would be mounted images breaking up the white. And since its a 'stage', last night I wondered about testing some late night lighting?

Lesbian Gaizzzzz

Hey was looking around for some theories that might help with thinking about commercialised images of lesbians in relation to a viewing public, this is all i got to so far though:

"Diana Fuss tackles most directly the mobilisation of a lesbian gaze within this cultural field [fashion photography] whichprovides a socially sanctioned structure in which women are encouraged to consume, in voyeuristic if not vampiristic fashion, the images of other women(Fuss, 1994:211). For Fuss this process by which women come to look as though they were lesbians entails, as she put it, ‘consuming’ images of women whose poses range from the coy to the aggressive. And this spectorial position is triggered by the distinctive codings which are specific to fashion photography many of which rely on, as Rabine points out, the fragment of the body, showing body parts in pieces, cropping the body to show either torso, or legs or in the case of the images Fuss looks at, seemingly disembodied faces ‘detatched from any visible body. These images of body parts .... "

bla bla fetish Kristeva bla bla Oedipalisation Freud bla bla

"… Fuss demonstrates how fashion photographs have to be able to generate homosexual desire so that it can be properly eliminated, but in so doing there is also a production of ‘lesbian desire within the identificatory move itself’. However, as she goes on to say, this lesbian eroticism is so apparent, so visible for all to see, that this obviousness actually also immediately negtes the ‘homoerotic structure of the look’. The illicit desire is ‘harnessed’ in the very process of being invoked as something that exists and that has to be contained and controlled. Thus there is a mobilisation of homosexual desire within an overarching visual economy which at the same time forbids it, producing it in order to say no. Or as if to say ‘better get it over and done with here and by these means’. These photographs therefore flirt with the viewer in a game which both allows the desire expression, and then reminds the viewer of the high cost attached abandoning herself to those desires. Fuss describes this as the ‘strategic deployment of a homospectorial look’(ibid: 227) So precarious is the passage for the woman or girl into required heterosexuality, that, especially in a commercial field given over to expanding the pleasures of feminine consumption, it takes immense efforts to bring this unruly terrain to order, and in a marvelous passage Fuss explains that the work of the fashion image is to provoke this desire so that it can be ‘channeled (or Chaneled)’ (idib:227). And unlike the viewing position supposed by the medium of film, the position ‘mapped by contemporary commercial fashion photography can be read … as feminine, homosexual, and pre-oedipal’ (ibid:228) …"

From: Angela McRobbie The aftermath of feminism: gender, culture and social change, 2009, Sage Publications, London, pp 106-7
Images worth linking to for article - no really!!!

on the table

errr? um, were we actually doing this? Well, heres mine anyways... all as I found it when I got home before, cleaning up water spill next...

A Test

A image for the mix. Feels a bit raw, but I thought I would throw it in to the pot. See you all tonight at 9pm for some cross-continent exploration.

There is a little red star by the paper in the image, connecting to the the text that reads as:
On a Tuesday night in an empty bar in Lisbon I was trying to get her to say something I thought she was thinking. A crush. It had to be a crush. A falling for a pair of hands, fare hair and dark eyes forever fixed inside sheets of paper that are always too small, too shiny and too damn old. It did not really matter, as there is a saying and then a knowing and then there is a shared kind of caring without saying that is always between us. I knew she would never forget her name. I remembered it for a few days but just now I had to google something like swiss lesbian travel writer photographer.

24 Years Out

Still enjoying thinking about the specificity of Douglas Crimp's stories via audio to rendering a particular scene, place, time and attitudes in 1970's New York.

So, following up Liz's comment/link from So Gay Right Now, here's a collection of herstories through audio, navigating through New Zealand's 1986 law reform: Radio New Zealand: 20 Years Out! (2006). To play excerpts, see index on the right hand side.

particular, in thinking of activating a visible private space in public space...
Segment 4: Except 1: This started as a campaign in our interests, but it has become wider – Bill Logan (1′04″). LAGANZ 0502-A. Public meeting to launch the "Coalition to Support the Bill". (11 July 1985) [Public meeting, unknown recorder].
Segment 5: Excerpt 1: A closet is a very dangerous place to be - Alison Laurie (1″09″). LAGANZ 0503-B. Bigot Busters rally at Wellington Town Hall attended by 1400 people. (21 May 1985) [Public meeting, unknown recorder] - her full speech here.
Segment6: Excerpt 3: Lesbian reaction to the loss of Part Two (2′28″). LAGANZ 0507-A. (20 April 1986) [Lesbian Programme – Access Radio Wellington] - later amended in the Human Rights Act of 1993.
Most of the audio is from the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ), based at the ATL in Wellington.

World Contemporaneity

From a recent BBC report about attacks on Ugandans outed as gay.

From Wikipedia: Homosexuality in society

A bit of a crude map above. Whilst local laws signify social attitudes, I guess what the map fails to articulate (as most statistics and graphs do) is the complexity of how various countries deal with 'illegal' or socially unaccepted practices within daily society and culturally.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharon Hayes

I can't believe I did not think about Sharon Hayes.... can't believe it. Totally drew a blank. An absent cavity took its place. Names create negative space.

So, the practice of Sharon Hayes. I would say this is a woman (a NYC woman) who understands windows, love, public risk, the power of declaration and words that feel crunchy between your teeth....

Sharon Hayes & Andrea Geyer History is Ours, The Future is Unthinkable, 2010

In the Near Future, 2009

Revolutionary Love: I am Your Worst Fear, I am Your Best Fantasy, 2008

How to Make Movement

"Queer criticism has prompted the emergence of different forms of sexual and gender visibility, enabling the articulation of a whole range of micro-discourses and alternative political and cultural forms that defend the concepts of queer feminism and transfeminism, emphasising the validity of their politics from post-identity parameters that are critical of sexual binaries.

But what is the connection between these new forms of political subjectivity and the empowering and social transformation of the movements? How can we produce points of resistance starting from identities in transit, from the proliferation of non-binary identities, from the creation of spaces of identification? How can we display self-critical practices from within queer non-binary policies to avoid them concealing old and new forms of gender, class, race and sexual oppression? How can we form a joint front against the specificity of the different forms of violence and hierarchy generated by patriarchy, heteronormativism and capitalism? How can we set up practices that will help us to overcome the fragmentation derived from facing up to difference and conflict in our own contexts?"

From this upcoming conference in Spain

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lawler in the Streets

Apparently, Lawler developed the food for Birdcalls as a tactic for getting home safely in Manhattan in the early 70s. One way to traverse the streets at night as a woman was to act crazy. So Lawler would navigate her way home bird-calling all the names of male artists. After midnight urban bird activity.

And here is Yvonne Rainer's Trio A:

Action around the edges; repetition, distribution of energy and phrasing


I threw down a small piece of my rib. It landed on the street below my bedroom window through which I could be seen effortlessly standing. The bone was fresh out of a box that I kept in a drawer in an everyday bit of furniture.

I lost track of the small bone by forgetting about it and I would recall it by dropping it from a high place from which I could look out at it discarded as a person or group of people arrived without notice.

Today, the women are on their way somewhere, I can’t know where, and one of the women stops and taps my rib with the soft toe of her shoe. She stoops quickly and unexpectedly as if aroused by sleep, and she points at a spider and says, ‘so rare I could fold it, I mean hold it,’ aligning it with other things from her past that she’s kept deliberately effaced.

The other woman notices me, the woman looking down at her and her companion as she stands attentively below my second floor window. I stand there really no more than a shadow in a space riddled with glass, unseen in just the way a shop window can be photographed behind someone smiling with unreadable assurance.

Though it’s likely that a person being photographed would not become aware of the bit of my rib fallen matter-of-fact on the street due to a unique confluence of angles, angles that tend to fold on the retina, just as a Venetian blind can be drawn and slung over the backseat of a car.

Louise Lawler

Louise Lawler, Birdcalls, 1972/1981
Audio recording 71’00”, text panel

Listen to 1971 audio recording here.

Douglas Crimp

Nice talking tonight, and facking delicious snacks R!

Some L Day (!) listening:

Douglas Crimp on Gordon Matta-Clark

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Essay writing

I was assuming I would be writing the essay but didn't want to pre-empt anyone else putting their hands up....

And using the blog as the basis for it makes it a straight forward-esque task - although to confess I am seriously intimidated by the high quality bits of writing captured here. It's a high bar - I'll start practicing my jump.

I was really loving the essay on subjectivity/objectivity. Will post a draft asap.

Thanks for birthday wishes Liz.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Imaging (in) three times a lady

about time I put a self-generated picture up, much? This is a bit of a precious diary-istic image for moi but in the public version it goes something like this:
The forms are a direct reference to the teachings of the foundation course of the Bauhaus, where artists like Kadinsky believed that it was possible to reduce all form and colour down to a few essential combinations, and so came up with red cube, yellow cone, blue sphere (although there was some controversy about this decision, ha ha, imagine it!). Anyhow, I started working on this for a show called "necessary conditions: free school" and think of them as learning forms, basic, simple, metaphorical etc. How do they relate to this project?? In a contemporary context is homosexuality still a spot the difference game? Which one of these forms is not like the other? Seriously!
Ahem, Happy Birthday Mary Jane!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

$14 dollars in his pocket and Duchamp's phone number

So AWEsome talking to you all the other night! I will post here the schedule we decided:

04th Oct - 20th Oct: Keep sharing ideas and works via blog

Around 20th Oct: Second skype with Marnie, Liz and (Me myself or I) in NZ and Clare in Netherlands. The aim of this is to brainstorm and work towards establishing a boundary line of interest, both visual and philosophical - towards the firming up of a production schedule.

In the meantime ideas for title are circulated: I like Clare's thought that the title might suggest arrival and departure - within the lightbox context and the work itself - which relates well to articulations in these blog posts - hyperbola, lenses, accurate fictions, and effing dykes use of narrative and web images, which suggest a virtual elsewhere, whilst also participating in the here/now of her blog.

I also find that I'm very much still pondering to what extent (this came up when you were talking Marnie about a Gay Pride march that you and Clare had been to (eek, I can't remember where it was?!)) that a certain public-ness doesn't involve risk. Where does this perception come from, who thinks/prompts it into being, and where is it leading? The good the bad and the ugly of such an assumption...

Oh, and how about that Batrider crew...want to get their albumz fast

And the new effing dykes post is pretty great - about Les Obsession.

And something to sign off with...

Sometimes I would dream that I was adrift in a forest that rose up out of the water already dead and hung as if the stumps were great poles lowered from the sky, the sky itself desperate to be free from the water and the pump of the night in the rain as it fell upon me, the only man there. All around was the burden of the water reflecting a blue and purple sky. My friend in the flood didn’t need to save me, or I him, but his presence was a kind of savage reassurance.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Curator writes up

Hi Mary Jane,

We had a GREAT skype convo on Sunday and got a few things on the boil...
One of the questions that came up was the essay, we are assuming you are going to write it right? Do you have any idea what way you are going to approach it yet? We were thinking that the blog could come into it somehow, maybe, as being a way for us to talk to each other it will hopefully be representative of the concerns of the resulting work... if it's useful! What do you thunk?

ya ya

Saturday, October 2, 2010

so Gay right now

hi! hey! hi!
sooooo contemporary homosexuality huh...
now now now!
as opposed to that ol fashioned kind, where are those old fashioned homos these days?
and what are they wearing? Hi vis gear? or is that us" us the contemps?
Homosexual Law Reform Bill right? is that a signpost? Destiny's Church, are they the past future?
is contemporary homosexuality ubiquitous via the queer spectrum?
will the metro-sexual survive the conservative backlash?
are we seeing ourselves reflected in the mainstream media and liking it?
this is so gay, l it,
can't wait to skype tomorrow w you all,
here's a lite offering towards the pool of ideas/research"":