Queer Caucus for Art
Looking ahead to CAA 2006:

As an affiliated society of CAA, we are given a time slot for a business meeting and for a shorter panel during an off-time. We have usually requested and received a lunchtime slot for that panel. Laurie Toby Edison is working on the lunchtime panel for 2006. In addition, we may sponsor a panel proposal though such a panel must go through the approval process and is not automatically accepted. The caucus officers have endorsed a panel proposal for 2006 from Peter Holliday entitled “Classical antiquity and the expression of queer desires” and it has been accepted by the program committee. While it is too early to submit paper proposals, it is not too early to begin thinking of possible papers in this area.

The session proposal reads: Classical antiquity has furnished models for representing queer desires, both as self-constructing imagination and as a ground from which to debate dominant cultural forces. Potential topics for this session might include interrogations of the proselytizing dimensions of modern constructs of antiquity, how classical themes and motifs became the embodiment of a homosexual ideal obtaining the force of propaganda, and how classical imagery presented atttractive embodiments of homosexual desire. Reflections on the convergence or competition between national/political and erotic/group identity uses of the past are also sought. The moral and asesthetic ideals of the classical tradition have been largely superseded in cultural production by arguments based on biology and the exercise of power relations. Therefore investigations of postmodern transformations of the meaning of classical models and their current reception will also be welcome (e.g., the slippage of classical motifs from rationalizing the imagery of desire to elements of gay pornography and camp).

The official call for papers will come from CAA in February or thereabouts. Details will also appear on the QUEERART list. (The deadline will probably preclude further notices in the newsletter.)

The 2006 conference will be in Boston and the 2007 conference will probably be in New York City.

Queer Visual Culture
at the Crossroads”

“InterseXions” was organized by the Queer Caucus for Art and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (City University of New York). It was held on November 12-13, 2004 at the Graduate Center of CUNY. Many caucus members participated and attended. Below is Tee Corinne’s overview of the conference. Others are invited to submit their reactions for the newsletter. The full program, with a listing of the organizing committee, is available at the CLAGS website -- clags.org. Thanks to all of those who planned and participated in the conference.

Notes about InterseXions
by Tee A. Corinne

Fabulous conference: new ideas, new and familiar art, networking, meeting people whose names are legend, and integrating snippets of knowledge. This conference was the culmination of thirty-plus years of LGBTQ activism. It was also a platform from which to search for future research, art, and publishing directions. High art, low art, identity-based art, time-based art, artists long dead and those just emerging, all this and more was available in abundance.

The single session which interested me most was “Queer visual culture, 1870-1914” in which, among other speakers, Roberto Ferrari presented on Simeon Solomon and Miranda Mason spoke about Sarah Bernhardt’s bust of Louise Abbéma. It fed my passion for reclaiming historical figures. From other conference attendees, I heard compliments for historical sessions which I did not attend.

“What brings us to these crossroads?” with Terry Wolverton, Arlene Raven, Gaye Chan, Nandita Sharma, and Lousie Fishman did an excellent job of highlighting generational and cultural issues in the past three decades of lesbian art production.

The “Out of the archive: alternative archival resources” panel included Allen Ellenzweig who spoke on contemporary photographer Robert Giard’s archive, Richard Meyer on new approaches to art and sexuality, and the fabulous Thomas Waugh (I’m a great of admirer of his book Hard to imagine) on the underground collector. Archivists and librarians are so subversive, quietly gathering and cataloging differing strands of cultural activiity and ensuring their accessibility to future generations. I believe in them and cheer them on.

The film “Playing a part: a story of Claude Cahun,” directed by Danish filmmaker Lizzie Thynne, was riveting. Cahun, a French Jewish photographer (1894-1956), active with the Surrealists, is presented with a complexity which matches her art.

There were complaints that some speakers spoke too fast and that some of the art wasn’t worth looking at; however, concerning the latter, there was no agreement about what wasn’t worth looking at (too obscure, too sexual, too crass, too boring?). There is more strength in nurturing our diversity than in trying to control the uncontrollable.

There were receptions, exhibits, a neighborhood filled with good restaurants, great conversations. At home, my lover is dying from cancer. I came from the Pacific Northwest for this conference and returned refueled.

News of members, etc.

Barbara Hammer’s award-winning documentary on art during a time of war -- “Resisting paradise” -- will close an art activists conference to be held January 22-23 at OfficeOps, 57 Thames St., Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Hammer will be honored with a semi-retrospective of four of her documentaries (“History lessons,” “Resisting paradise,” “Devotion” and “Tender fiction”) at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina from March 15-20, 2005. She will judge the documentary competition at the Torino Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival from April 21-28. “Resisting paradise” has just been released in DVD and is available for personal or institutional purchase from Hammer (contact bjhammer@aol.com). “Resisting paradise” and other documentaries are invited to the prestigious Flaherty Film Conference to be held at Claremont College in Los Angeles from June 11-18.

Recent issues of The archive: the newsletter of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation are available online at www.leslielohman.org/archive.html

Ann Meredith has won the “Award of Excellence” in documentary for her newest film about LGBTQ marriage “The right to marry: our right to love” (2004) and the “Best of Festival” award in documentary for her film about LGBTQ cowgirls of the International Gay Rodeo Association at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival. Meredith’s films were also screened at PINK APPLE in Zurich, QUEER AS FILM in Boise, Idaho, REEL PRIDE Festival in Detroit, Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Chicago’s Queer Reeling Film Festival, Fire Island Film Festival, Orinda Film Festival in “Expect the Unexpected,” North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Austin (Tex.) Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, the 20th Berlin Lesbian Film Festival, Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and FEMINALE International Women’s Film Festival in Cologne, Germany. “Strap ’em down: the world of drag kings” was shown at InterseXions in November.

Catherine Opie is the winner of the $25,000 Larry Award given to emerging and mid-career artists by the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn. cf. Art in America, Jan. 2005

Peggy Phelan and Yvonne Rainer are among the J. Paul Getty Trust fellows and scholars for 2004-2005.

Robert Summers presented a paper entitled “Shame/less: a queer Warholian spectacle” at the annual conference of the Art Historians of Southern California in Los Angeles on November 6, 2004.

In Memoriam

Gene Greif, graphic designer (b. 1954), died in November at age 50. He is survived by his partner Gary Cruz and others. Obituary in the New York times, Nov. 27, 2004

Trina Schart Hyman, illustrator of children’s books, died on November 19 at age 65. She is survived by her partner Jean Aull and others. Obituary in the New York times, Nov. 24, 2004

Agnes Martin (b. 1912) died on December 16th in Taos where she had lived and painted. An obituary by Holland Cotter appears in The New York times for Dec. 17, 2004.

Susan Sontag, social activist, intellect, and writer, died on December 28th at age 71. An obituary by Chris Schmidt appears in Gay city news (NYC), Dec. 30, 2004-Jan. 5, 2005, p. 2 and another by Gary Indiana appears in the Village voice, Jan. 5-11, 2005, p. 42-43.

Raymond Vino, photographer, died on September 29 at age 50.

Willie Walker (b. 1949), founding member of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, died on September 29, 2004. His last publication was an introduction to Lust unearthed: vintage gay graphics from the DuBek Collection by Thomas Waugh.

Queer Caucus for Art newsletter, January 2005
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