Passages from Queer Places focuses on the construction of queer identity through the process of discovering others of the same ilk, in tandem with the emergence of queer historical figures within one's personal landscape. The work is a constructed space that is bounded by two panels made up of 35mm filmstrips with photographic images of individual contemporary queer people in positive and historically significant queers over-printed the film in negative. These latent images act as a potential realization of a rich history of queer artists, writers, architects and performers who are discovered as one moves through the process of becoming visible within the landscape of your time.
The genesis of Passages began with a simple narrative about an anonymous boy and girl who woke from a nights sleep to find others occupying their partially re-constructed bedrooms. The floor plans of queer historical figures and the boy and girl were merged axially about the beds. In this queer maze time and space converge around the diverse and isolated queer experiences in which new languages and codes are learned. It is the field from which one emerges and begins to define one's own queer space within the rich context of queer history.
The work was originally created in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City and exhibited in the show Queer Space at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. For the exhibition at Exit Art the creative process for the work was embedded in the presentation with the original concept drawings. These are displayed along with the wall panels that make up the queer closet/passageway. In addition, a new layer of audio recordings of the historical figures plays continuously in the space--their voices resonating with stories, poetry and promise.
Historical Figures: David Wojnarowicz, Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Rivera, Jean Genet, Sappho, Philip Johnson, and James Baldwin