LGBT+ | esse arts + opinions


91 - Automne 2017

Following our last issue, on the theme of feminisms, the feature continues with our reflection on the question of gender and sexuality by delving into practices and theories of artists who seek to transcend the idea of a binary, patriarchal society that is heteronormative and cisnormative. It explores, among other issues, the strategies deployed by artists to make LGTB+ communities visible and makes the multiplicity of voices on the margin of the patriarchal regime of knowledge production heard.

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Articles à la pièce

Clinton Glenn
Andrew Gayed
Adam Barbu
Andrea Williamson
Ricky Varghese
Genevieve Flavelle


Claiming a Queer Space
Sylvette Babin

Feature: LGBT+

In Homonational Times: Nationalist Mythology and LGBT Inclusivity
Over the past decade, critiques of queer assimilation into neoliberal nation-states have gained traction in queer theoretical and activist discourses. In this article, I examine how queer theory, and homonationalism in particular, have been interrogated in contemporary artistic and curatorial praxis. I begin with Montreal’s hosting of Canada Pride in summer 2017. In linking LGBT identity to the nation-state, Canada Pride can be seen as representative of neoliberal incorporation and homonationalism. I then turn to look at Kent Monkman’s current exhibition Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, in which Monkman is highly critical of the national myths bound up in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. He uses his large-scale history paintings to subvert dominant narratives of the founding of the Canadian nation state and to assert a space for indigenaiety and queerness that is often marginalized or made invisible.
Clinton Glenn

Islamicate Sexualities: The Artworks of Ebrin Bagheri
In this article, Andrew Gayed briefly outlines a history of Islamicate sexualities across different geographic regions and time periods of the Middle East and North Africa. Then, to illustrate the ways in which pre-modern Islamicate sexual scripts are not fully colonized and still live on in the diaspora, he analyzes the work of Iranian-Canadian artist Ebrin Bagheri. Focusing primarily on the ways in which Bagheri’s drawings bring together visual histories of same-sex desire, the author makes it clear that the colonial hangovers of these sexual scripts are still alive, and deeply imbedded in diaspora consciousness.
Andrew Gayed

PosterVirus: Views from the Street
In this article, Adam Barbu highlights the important artistic contributions of PosterVirus (2011–), a curatorial project that operates as an affinity group of AIDS ACTION NOW!, one of Toronto’s original HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations. More specifically, the author examines the different conceptual strategies and interventionist display tactics employed by the curators through a queer curatorial lens and outline how the PosterVirus public installations intercept passers-by with images that reflect inconvenient and uncomfortable truths about the social politics of HIV/AIDS today.
Adam Barbu

Invisible as One and Many: The Mirror Drawings of Anthea Black and Thea Yabut
After hearing Anthea Black and Thea Yabut give an artist talk for their exhibition at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Andrea Williamson speculates about what Black meant by the potential for queer art, theory, and politics found in abstract and non-representational art forms. Looking at examples of collective embodiment through the writing of Fred Moten, Ralph Ellison, and Hannah Black, she imagines non-visibility or invisibility as the surpassing of singularity and the impossibility of its representation. Comparing their collaborative drawings to other forms of queer art that deal with the non-visible, retreat, and negation, she shows how Black and Yabut’s work engages a more-than-singular identity—a generosity of forms that can be represented only through recording collective embodiment. The author stresses that collectivity is not the disappearance of the individual but an endless additional equation, and suggests that empathy with other subjects can never be complete because individuals are immeasurable and, hence, invisible as images.
Andrea Williamson

Black Queer Grief in Michèle Pearson Clarke’s Parade of Champions
Ricky Varghese

Peeling Objects for Queer Play
What allows for an object to recognized as a person? What happens to the ways in which the body signifies when it is anonymous, partial, or abstracted? In this essay, the author looks at two collaborative sculpture installations that expand the boundaries of what reads as human by unsettling gender and creating forms playfully poised between the known and unknown. Rather than positioning the non-normative as knowable through representation and, as such, readily available for inclusion, Genevieve Flavelle considers how gender and sexuality can be figured beyond categorization and how our valuation of personhood can expand beyond constricting binaries of male/female, gay/straight, and cis/trans.
Genevieve Flavelle


JJ Levine

Zanele Muholi
Visual Activism

Fallon Simard
Monetized, But Agential, Bodies in Ghost Worlds

Kama La Mackerel
From a Plural Voice, Resistance

Ianna Book
Trans Avenue

Vanessa Dion Fletcher
A Body of Work

Virginie Jourdain
Improbable Morphologies


Viva Arte Viva, 57e Binnale de Venise
Avec « Viva Arte Viva », exposition qu’elle a proposée pour la 57e édition de la Biennale de Venise, Christine Macel souhaitait montrer que l’art pouvait rester un rempart contre les incertitudes du monde. Ces incertitudes sont présentes dans beaucoup de pavillons nationaux, où elles sont traitées avec plus ou moins de frontalité ou de littéralité, mais il revient au pavillon allemand, avec une pièce d’Anne Imhof, de faire la traduction de l’esprit du temps la plus radicale.
Nathalie Desmet


La presse écrite revisitée par karen elaine spencer
Geneviève Gendron


Vingt-six glorieuses
Michel F. Côté & Catherine Lavoie-Marcus


Performing Arts

11e Festival TransAmériques, Montréal by Christian Saint-Pierre

Alicia Grant and Emily Law, Emerging Voices: New Works, Toronto by Fabien Maltais-Bayda

Benoît Lachambre, Lifeguard, Festival TransAmériques, Montréal by Véronique Hudon

Visual Arts

Houses Are Really Bodies: The Writing of Leonora Carrington, London, U.K., by Emily LaBarge

Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Matériellement rien, potentiellement tout, Montréal by Maude Johnson

Jacob Robert Whibley, dot-dot-dot, Toronto by Alex Bowron

Sara A.Tremblay et Léna Mill-Reuillard, Géographies : recomposées – S’ensevelir, Laval by Dominique Sirois-Rouleau

Christian Messier, La forêt s’en vient II, Montréal by Dominique Sirois-Rouleau

56 Artillery Lane, London, U.K. by Emily LaBarge

Ismaïl Bahri, Instruments, Paris by Vanessa Morisset


Marcel Blouin, Katrie Chagnon et Hélène Poirier (dir.), Alexandre David by Maude Johnson

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