That’s So Gay 2013: Say It To My Face
That’s So Gay is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual gay pride art exhibition that explores themes around sexuality, gender and identity. That’s So Gay 2013 is curated by Elisha Lim.
“That’s So Gay” was originally a flirty protest reclaiming an insult in the face of homophobia. This year’s exhibit pushes its community another step, to cross the line of racial and cisgendered segregation of both the traditional and queer art canons.
The result is a reckoning with violence and bonding: a brown genderqueer self-portrait of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, distorted diasporic family portraits, fragments of transit life in an airport lounge, estranged exes holding each others’ hands for the photographer, decapitated minotaurs twining themselves erotically around each other and a haunted line of Aboriginal armour and accessories.
Much of the work has been curated internationally from New York, Paris, Melbourne and Montreal, but it also mines local history with meditated research into Canadian histories of sex work, slavery and genocide.
This exhibit aspires to plumb the depths and contradictions and intersections of identity – and more than just scratch the surface of “gay”.
So say it and mean it. Say it to my face.
Image: From the series It’s Good To Be Needed by That’s So Gay featured artist Michèle Pearson Clarke
That’s So Gay Programming:
June 27, 2013 | 7 – 10pm
Parading Of The Icon / Coffee & Powder
Supermodel Icon Kiley emerges from a hotel room to find themself at a fabulous hotel amongst art and sexy people. They explore the hotel with runway style parading, does an impromptu photo shoot then poses for pictures with fans. The night finishes with Kiley inviting people back to their room where they give an intimate show. A performance about the psychology and phenomenology of fame, as well as white skin beauty ideology and racism in the modeling and fashion industry.
July 23, 2013 | 7 – 10pm
ACTIVIST LOVE LETTERS by Syrus Marcus Ware || In Conversation: Michèle Pearson Clarke and Elisha Lim
ACTIVIST LOVE LETTERS by Syrus Marcus Ware
Join a host of local artists and activists as they read aloud letters that activists have sent to each other, and to the community. Bring your passion, feel the love and get inspired to write to someone working to make the world a place you want to live in; and/or a community that you want to be part of!
In Conversation: Michèle Pearson Clarke and Elisha Lim
Join That’s So Gay curator Elisha Lim for an interview with featured artist Michèle Pearson Clarke. Michèle will be discussing the body of work featured in That’s So Gay, It’s Good To Be Needed. For this series, Michèle photographs queer women who are ex-partners, and who are not friends, holding hands with one other.
About the curator
Elisha Lim’s art, comics and videos focus on themes of racialized queerness. They have exhibited and screened internationally, proudly including the debut solo of Toronto’s notorious Feminist Art Gallery. They have lectured on race representation and gender neutral pronouns on panels, artist talks and United Nations conferences since 2009, and directed Montreal’s first Racialized Pride Week in 2012, for which they curated the central exhibit “2-Qtpoc” at the gallery articule. Their current film circuit short “100 Butches #9: Ruby” was controversially censored in Singapore and debuted this year at the London BFI.
That’s So Gay 2012: Girls Who Are Boys Who Do Boys Like They’re Girls
Curated by Sholem Krishtalka
Our 3rd annual Pride exhibition, That’s So Gay, will explore notions of queer gender identity in order to highlight and challenge the overly simplistic view of “man” and “woman”. Bending gender and objectification through many diverse lenses, That’s So Gay is sure to raise as many questions as it will answer.
Pride exhibits stereotypically involve representations of desire – men make art about male desire, women make art about female desire. In keeping with my ongoing project of using the That’s So Gay exhibit to expand on what Pride shows can be, and to use them to push and prod and stretch what “queer” can mean, I want to challenge that initial premise, and have male artists show work about women, and vice versa. This simplistic binary system itself raises an obvious and important issue: “man” and “woman” as gender identities, much less sexual object choices, are in and of themselves extremely complex, problematic and fluid. And an essential part of a queer life is the challenging and disruption of these categories.
I want to introduce this binary in order to demonstrate its overly-simplistic falseness. I want to disrupt the stereotypical representation of sexual-object-choice; I want to open up those binaries to free interpretation by the artists; I want to show artists who themselves identify somewhere in the huge spectrum that exists between these binaries, and whose work will thusly interpret gender and desire freely and openly.
That’s So Gay 2011: The New Queer
Curated by Sholem Krishtalka
For the second installment of Gladstone’s annual Pride Show, That’s So Gay, curator Sholem Krishtalka continues to poke and prod at what the word “queer” means now, and what it’s evolving to mean. Pride shows tend to focus on the artist’s sexual identity; but queer art isn’t, and shouldn’t necessarily be a product of whom you take to bed.
The artists involved in this show are not necessarily gay (some of them are what society at large would deem heterosexual couples). But they are all certainly queer. Pride shows tend to focus on the sexuality of the artists but what about the sexuality of the work? For The New Queer, Krishtalka has chosen queer work. These artists’ practices challenge heteronormative modes of art-making: the polymorphously perverse manifestos of the FASTWÜRMS, here in collaboration with Cecilia Berkovic; the orgiastic collaborations of Team Macho; the phantasmatic otherworldly universes of Shary Boyle; the bombastic psychedelia of Michael Comeau; the psycho-sexual narratives of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby; the puckish multiple-identity drag of Alison SM Kobayashi.
FASTWÜRMS, in collaboration with Cecilia Berkovic; Team Macho; Shary Boyle; Michael Comeau; Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby; Alison SM Kobayashi.
That’s So Gay 2010
Curated by Sholem Krishtalka
The title is a cheeky re-appropriation of the word “gay,” now that it’s become widely accepted slang for anything and everything uncool; and through that, a reflection on how queers have needed to constantly fight with language, appropriating and re-appropriating words in order to assert themselves at this very basic linguistic level. The exhibition assembles work that deals with the queer experience, and is knowing, assertive and even aggressive about it.
Stephen Andrews, Romy Ceppetelli, Chris Curreri, Anthony Easton, Claire Egan, Grant Heaps, Jean Paul Kelly, Kris Knight, Logan MacDonald, Will Munro, Lori Newdick, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Ed Pien, Pandy Ramada, Kim Sheppard, Zanette Singh, Sharon Switzer, Kyle Tryhorn, Jim Verburg, Daryl Vocat, Robert Weir.