Let’s Queer — Let’s Art
Anatoly Belov / Yevgenia Belorusets / Katerina Yermolayeva / Yury Kurchak / Darya Kuzmich / Sasha Kurmaz / Bella Logachova and Mykola Ridny / Victor Marushchenko / BOBA Group / Dis/order
Curators — Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko
Exhibition architecture — Olexandr Burlaka and Felix Ishchenko
Exhibition of Ukrainian artists at the Equality Festival is a call for mutual enrichment through the experience of «otherness”. History of the English adjective «queer” is actually an example of the successful implementation of this strategy. The word was used as a tool of aggressive persecution of homosexuals in heteronormative society of the late ХІХ century. It was taken in the 1980s by gay community as the self-name in order to relieve its negative connotation, and thereafter provide its power deprivation. Nowadays it is used regardless of sexual or gender identification and it serves as a sign of deliberate solidarity with all “non-normative” policies.
Ukrainian artists focus on the experience of social groups, communities or individuals excluded from social relations – physically, politically or symbolically. Being outsiders themselves , they face discriminative activities in their everyday private living. However,in their works they focus not only on “special needs” but on special opportunities, showing resistance and ingenuity that allows not only to move our understanding of “normality”, but to get rid of any cliche definitions at all. Finally, artistic practices do not tend to outline the specific identities and inherent “features” clearly. On the contrary – they create space that helps to recognize themselves in another one.
Actually, otherness or queer is an endless source of opportunities, and it is the art which serves everybody who is violently marginalized, all the foreigners and outcasts. Thus, Art remains the real queer, being a social practice that goes through public consensus – not along, as everyday consciousness does and not against, as political activism. Moreover – art as a queer performs ideas i practice. Like queer, art may seem suspicious and a little wrong. Like queer, art is a process of constant redefinition of identity. Like queer, art avoids constant definitions. Like queer, art is a verb. Like queer, art is performative.