Monday, February 11, 2008

Flagging rainbows

I've actually feasted the eyeballs on a LOT of ART lately - and acutally turning up to the shows I promote. However my fingers have been full of THE TOME lately so I kept my opinions to myself... for a change (har har)

Even in my sandstone enclave I've been made vaguely aware that it's Mardis Gras season, and flicking through the catalogue, I was anticipating one of my favourite forms of Bad Art: one or more uberkitsch Gay and Lesbian art exhibitions, ideally at a commercial gallery, or a community space.... and yet I was disappointed....

Now - in making such a sweeping dismissal i do immediately place myself in a bit of a footshooting quandary. That mask on my head is not a butterfly; I am queer, and a Queer Art Exhibitions were the first opportunity I had to show my work (before going to art school) and meeting other queer artists (which kept me sane and have inspired me since). the first one was at Raw Nerve in 1996, and the second was at Pride Centre in 1997. Straight out of art school - I once again showed in the SGLMG 'out art' and the luscious lezzo fest that was 'word of mouth' . so I've definitely been a big beneficiary of the identity politics of art, and I sometimes long for the halcyon days of well endowed queer community spaces! supporting budding little rainbow butterflies.......

I wonder about the passing of queer art shows, and why. Is it that lots of queers have infiltrated and seduced the art world to the extent that we don't need our own spaces? Is it that moneybag queers with good hearts got sick of being lumbered with some dodgy didactic crap? Is it (gasp) a terrible sign that the sydney queer community is in a frightful state of decline?

I'm trying to write some chapter about sexuality for the tome so will stop the pontification for the moment - coz even tho new mardis gras ain't organised an official GLBIT* Art Show there are two endorsed official queer eyeball events.

the first is in Western sydney - and has been organised by Blacktown regional gallery - who have been on a desperate (and reasonably) successful mission to recoup their cred after the Begg Distraction Panic of 2005. MOP man, and general icon Daniel Maudie Cunningham has assembled a great group of interesting and credible artists into a cutely named show: Bent Western. rahter than being a standard hotch potch of people who make art who identify as queer, Bent Western is a conidered blend of artists with a connection to queerness and western sydney , whose work is both formally and thematically compatible. I was deterred by the rain on thursday nights opening - but can't wait to see the results.

Where :
Blacktown Arts Centre, 78 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown
When :
08/02/2008 to 29/03/2008
Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm
8 February - 29 March

Curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham.
Featuring Ron Adams, Lionel Bawden, Liam Benson, Drew Bickford, Michael Butler, Karen Coull, Jose Da Silva, Christopher Dean, Tim Hilton, Marius Jastkowiak, Erna Lilje, Arthur McIntyre, Jessica Olivieri, Kurt Schranzer, George Tillianakis, Anastasia Zaravinos.
Bent Western is an official event of the 30th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2008.
11am Saturday 16 February
Join curator Daniel Mudie Cunningham and a selection of the Bent Western artists as they discuss the exhibition.
Meanwhile the best named magazine since FLAPS has another leg spreading opening - which is also happening VERY SOON.

SLIT is a lesbian DIY porn politics culture mag that has been running since 2002, and has it's latest edition launch coinciding with an exhibition at mori gallery.

The girls and bois from glossy sexy Slit dyke trans sex magazine present their fifth annual exhibition, this year with a little romance! Celebrating the launch of Slit's 13th issue, this exhibition explores the wonderful world of Fairy Tales. Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming, the Princess and the Pea, Goldilocks, Rumpelstiltskin and the Wizard of Oz are included amongst the tales given a thorough queering.

Featuring works by Nicole Barakat, Penelope Benton, Tallulah Brown, Scary D and The Cake Lady, Kelli Jean Drinkwater and Jess Coughlan, Jane and Emmy, Tina Fiveash, Sam King, Debs McCann, MegaBixel, Chris Michaels, Jade Muratore, Vixen Noir, Cat O' Nine Tails, Sindy Ray, Empress Stah, Tank, Stella, Julio and MsMatt, Anastasia Zaravinos

Curated by Lady Penelope

Telephone +61 2 9283 2903
Exhibition dates: Wednesday 20 February - Saturday 1 March 2008
Mori Gallery open hours: 11 - 6pm Wednesday to Saturday

*Gay Lesbian Bisexual Intersex Transgender

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