Erik Roldan invited me to contribute a weekly entry to his new blog .
Currently, Rejnowska and Polera is busy developing a report on the challenges and opportunities that emerging artists face in Chicago. In December I will put the first draft of our research online, but in the mean time I want to weigh in on some of the big issues.
Erik requested that my weekly entry be about "queer art" , I happily agreed to his request.
The elephant in the room: what is queer art?
Why should I write about queer art? One reason is that queer art is a mystery. Writing a weekly column is a way to ask some of the many difficult questions that do not have easy answers. To engage in active reflect and make thoughtful reduction to all the information out there about contemporary art.
This blog is about art in the present which is also about art in the everyday, the presence of art in our lives.
To kick off my weekly column I want to hear different ideas : What do you think queer art is?
Queer art for me is work that comes from, contributes to or is part of the queer community. Queer community has American roots in Queer Nation, ACT UP, Gay liberation or even the civil right movement. The comraderie and friendships that arose in early queer activists built one of the great support system in recent history.
The history is complicated and has many turns, but what we are left with is a lot of heritage. Tied to American history because for the past 300 years people have been coming to this America from all over the world. Each different group bringing gifts of different culture, language, religion and ways of seeing the world.
Diversity is one of America's great strengths. Accepting diversity is also something we can improve on.
I want to protect the heritage of the queer community, with its many customs and ways of seeing the world.
And why focus on Queer Art? Because it can show us what is. It reveals a truth for who we were at a moment. It is the presence of mind. Art is sensual first, it expresses the senses at work, the taste, touch and feel and from the sensation comes an explosion of ideas and complexity.
Helen Vendler said "The arts present the whole uncensored human person--in emotional, physical, and intellectual being, and in single and collective form--as no other branch of human accomplishment does."
Ultimately, I hope my entries on queer art can begin to establish a cultural patrimony that many more people will add to.
My first entry will be on John Parot
So let me hear your thoughts.
Dmitri Peskov and John Lehrer
in Extended Views,
Dance Chicago 2007
Tuesday, November 13
at 7:43 PM