Queering Space: body politic (2014) Between Protest and Parade (2017)

Queering Space: Body Politic

“Presented by The ArQuives in partnership with Nuit Rose, Queering Space invites celebrated Canadian queer artists to create contemporary multidisciplinary responses to The ArQuives’s historical collection, reigniting its relevance while exploring the evolution of queer sites across space and time.” https://arquives.ca/program/queering-space

For my contribution, Body Politic, I used archival photographs of the street protest that was held after the bathhouse raids and the subsequent Pride parade to make the wall relief work – rotating each image sideways and then mirroring them so they appeared as if parts of a body – like linbs,  and openings. I then carved the rotated and mirrored imagery into insulation panels to make two 9’ x 4’ relief wall works which were installed between the windows in the second floor of the ArQuives for the exhibition.

Nuit Rose: Between Protest and Parade

Three years later, for Nuit Rose 2017, the wall reflief panels became large-scale block printing plates and the banners in the archival photographs silkscreens, for Between Protest and Parade. I first primed each panel with gesso and laid them out on the tables in the Fabernak Café at 519 Church St for the evening. Participants rolled ink onto the panels in whatever colour they chose from the ink provided and lifted the prints onto paper or fabric. Inks and some fabric are provided, but people could print the imagery onto whatever material desired – and select any parts of the panels that they chose.

The project provided a historical context to Toronto Pride, harkening back to its political roots. Some people who made prints during the event were there at the original street protest and the first Toronto Pride, and they shared their experiences with other people there.

The panels with their surfaces inked, tracing the choices and actions of the participants, remained and the imagery of the archival photographs is transformed once again.