Call for papers


Send your text (1,000 - 2,000 words, footnotes included) in US letter format (doc, docx, or rtf) to before April 1, 2017. Please include a short biography (30-50 words), an abstract of the text (80-100 words), as well as postal and e-mail addresses. We also welcome submissions (reviews, essays, analyses of contemporary art issues) not related to a particular theme (annual deadlines: September 1, January 10, and April 1).

Esse No 91: LGBTQIA
Before April 1, 2017

With the goal of uncoupling genders and sexualities, the queer movement was formed in the early 1990s from the intersectional approach of Black Feminism, which critiqued the “white solipsism” of American feminism. Queer Nation activists, who wanted to create solidarity among movements fighting for the rights of marginalized people, also played a catalyzing role in the emergence of the movement. The simultaneous publication of major books on feminism and postmodernity – with Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble as the cornerstone – made it possible to position the emergence of a new feminist theorization, which was designated under the trope of “queer theory.” Although there has been no consensus over what it should be called – post-feminism, postmodern feminism – the queer movement has developed mainly around the notions of gender, identity, and sexuality, and tends to undermine the heteronormative discourse based on universal and transhistorical categories. So, the “queer” banner flies above those with the primordial desire to escape all forms of the normalization that is implicit to all gendered and sexual categorizations. The conceptual apparatus developed by queer thought also makes it possible to explore the notion of “difference,” swapping it for that of “social construction.” It also highlights ontological and naturalist presuppositions by questioning the discourses of scientific and medical “truths” that legitimize the binary man–woman regime, and opens the door to other identities.

Although recognition of the rights of sexual and gender minorities is increasingly subject to legal and social action, the LGBTQIA1 community, and especially racialized people in that community, are still highly marginalized and more at risk to undergo physical and psychological violence then are their heterosexual counterparts. The persistence of LGBTQIA-phobic hate crimes, in the West and elsewhere in the world (for example, the Orlando massacre, the overrepresentation of trans people among murder victims), proves that the struggles of the LGBTQIA community for better social justice remain crucial. These political considerations are embodied in the contemporary aesthetic and have a considerable effect on our relationship with the image and with art history in general.

Using strategies of circumventing or offsetting from dominant discourses on gender identities and sexual orientation, a number of artists from the LGBTQIA community transcend binary thinking through their practices in order to provide a glimpse of the possibilities outside of the heteronormative and cisnormative patriarchal universe. Some artists point specifically to the consubstantiality of social relations or are interested in the convergence of movements – anti-capitalist, feminist, ecologist, anti-globalist, post-colonialist, and so on – but LGBTQIA art intrinsically resists unanimity. At the same time, the question of ethics and solidarity underlies a number of collaborative art practices and motivates a number of curators, who are increasingly producing exhibitions jointly with institutions or artists.

In light of the perspectives opened up by these artistic and political concerns, through this thematic section we wish to explore the strategies deployed by artists to make LGTBQIA communities visible and make the multiplicity of voices on the margin of the patriarchal regime of knowledge production heard. The diversification of alternative sites for the dissemination of art, combined with the institutionalization of “marginalized” practices, also provides fertile ground for reflecting on the making of contemporary art history in light of these issues. What is the role of the artist or the intellectual in the context of an activist or allied stance and what means are proposed to avoid the trap of reification of queer thought as a hegemonic discourse? How are trans struggles negotiated in relation to feminist and queer struggles and art practices, and how do artists contribute to this debate? Similarly, how do LGBTQIA artists negotiate these identity issues in their work and, conversely, how does art stimulate empowerment of the queer community? All of these questions and a number of others will be addressed in this thematic section.

1 An abbreviaton signifying all people who are not strictly heterosexual: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersexual, asexual.


Esse arts + opinions, published three times a year by Les éditions esse, is a contemporary art magazine that focuses on contemporary art and multidisciplinary practices (visual arts, performance, video, current music and dance, experimental theatre). It offers in-depth analyses of current art works and artistic and social issues by publishing essays that deal with art and its interconnections within various contexts.

Submissions are accepted three times a year: January 10, April 1 and September 1. Writers are invited to submit essays ranging from 750 to 2,000 words (including footnotes). These must be e-mailed in Word format or RTF to For editorial purposes, writers should include their postal address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, as well as a short biography.

All articles are reviewed by the Board, which reserves the right to accept or refuse a submitted article. Selection of articles may take up to 6 weeks after submission by the writer. The Board's decision is final. A refused text will not be re-evaluated.

With the exception of the expressed consent of the Editorial Board, the writer agrees to submit a previously unpublished, original text.

With the exception of the expressed consent of the Board, the Board does not consider articles that may represent a potential conflict of interest between the writer and the content of the article (i.e., a text written by the curator of an exhibition).

Conditionally accepted articles will be up for discussion between the writer and the Board. If changes are requested by the Board, the writer will have 15 (fifteen) days to carry these out.

With respect to the vision and style of the writer, the Board reserves the right to ask for corrections and modifications to be made to ensure overall clarity, and coherence of an article.

esse agrees to pay the writer $60 per sheet (250 words/sheet) and to provide 2 copies of the magazine upon publication.


Upon signing the contract, the author(s) revert exclusive copyright to esse, for a period of five (5) years, beginning at the date appearing on the signed contract.

While remaining holder of the copyright, the author(s) concede to esse, for a period of ten (10) years, an exclusive license permitting esse to reproduce or authorize reproduction of the said text on all electronic mediums worldwide, be they on paper (reprographies), acetates, microfiches, microfilms, or electronically (CDs, Internet, intranet, etc.).

In counterpart, esse bestows the author(s), once a year, 50% of the net sums received for the said text, plus a report on the source of the amounts.

The author(s) retain the right to receive his/her share of royalties payable to authors for reproduction of their texts, in virtue of agreements made with Copibec.

PDF icon esse91_lgbtqia_en.pdf209.15 KB

Subscribe to the Newsletter

 Retrouvez nous sur Twitter !Retrouvez nous sur Facebook !Retrouvez nous sur Instagram !








esse arts + opinions

Postal address
C.P. 47549,
Comptoir Plateau Mont-Royal
Montréal (Québec) Canada
H2H 2S8

Office address
2025 rue Parthenais, bureau 321
Montréal (Québec)
Canada H2K 3T2

E. :
T. : 1 514-521-8597
F. : 1 514-521-8598