LGBTQ + REPRESENTATION in art history
HBTQ+ REPRESENTATION I KONSTHISTORIEN
Exhibit created for Örnsköldsviks Museum & Konsthall taking you on a journey thru art history and the many representations of queer life, cultures and identeties juxtaposed with contemporary work of international and local artists showing their interprotations of queer representation and themes.
Educators must commit to undoing the systemic silencing of queer figures throughout history. History education is a multifaceted exploration. It is an exploration of past causes and effects. It is an exploration of other people's lives and cultures and interconnections. It is an exploration of triumphs and failures. It is an exploration of self. We must be able to illuminate these through representation. We must be able to see ourselves in our time, but it is equally important to be able to see ourselves represented in history. If we cannot see ourselves reflected in history, it indicates how unimportant we were.
This exhibit focuses on Queer interpretations, themes and representation in art history. It’s about reading between the lines, deciphering codes and symbolism. The purpose of my exhibition was to show that queer identities have always existed and been represented in art. In contrast to images and objects created from antiquity onwards, I invited contemporary artists (international and local) to show their queer representations in order to both create contrast but also to show a continuity and a context. Images of transsexual gay icon Amanda Lepore were contrasted with Jusepe de Ribera's portrait of the bearded lady Magdalena Ventura with Her Husband and Son (1631), illustrations of same-sex couples from antiquity through the Middle Ages to photographs from the 19th century – the century was contrasted with homoerotic motifs of modern photographers showing expressions of homosexual love and closeness. Religious and mythological motifs that have been recurring motifs throughout the history of art were given a modern interpretation. Bruce Weber's homoerotic black and white images of men in received continuity through Lina Eidenberg Adamo's color photos in the same tradition which were also reflected in Richard McLaren's photo series of Victoria Silvstedt and Anna Nicole Smith where they experimented with lesbian love and the bisexual norm.
"I couldn't find myself in history. No one like me seemed to have ever existed.”
Leslie Feinberg writes, in Transgender Warriors.