NEVER OPTION A OR B OR C, ALWAYS
'ALL OF THE ABOVE' AND NEVER 'NONE', AND ALMOST ALWAYS 'NOT SURE' OR
'I DON'T KNOW'
Never Option A or B or C, always ‘all of the above’ and never ‘none’, and almost always ‘not sure’ or ‘I don’t know’ is my attempt to represent/fail at representing my own queer identity, within the broader context of queerness.
Materials, objects, language, affect and aesthetics are all complicated in this body of work– leaking and spilling into one another – in their efforts to answer the question,“What does queerness look like; feel like”? The sculptural installation begins to suggest that it might feel similar to peeling cold glue from one’s palm, or watching polyurethane foam ooze into crème soda flavoured fizzer bulges. By interacting with objects and materially-informed pleasures, sexuality deviates from a heterosexual, two-bodied, genital, reproductive orgasmic intercourse and towards the tingling comfort or squeals evoked by a surface.
The exhibition becomes a deliberately complex and nuanced wish-wash/spin around/settle and then spit out between the unfamiliar and the recognisable. Sensation and experience are queered by disrupting the binaries of comfort/discomfort and pleasure/repulsion. Plastics – made and found – are used as the primary material in which to explore this space, while, importantly, expanding present queerness into an imagined, and predicted queer ‘non-future’ (Edelman, 2004).
While my intrigue of plastic was initially a somatic one, it developed into a research interest. I learned that chemicals released from plastics – plasticisers – such as Bisphenol A (BPA) host the ability to impede reproduction and queer the sex of organisms by overexposing them to high levels of oestrogen as they permeate the ecological environment (Davis, 2015:239). The toxicity of plastic, therefore, becomes a device in which to imagine an alternative; one that is not predicated on futurism, but rather, the demise of the ‘natural’ within the social order (Davis, 2015). I draw an allegiance between these unsexed, sterile, toxic progenies and queer lives as both being non-normative models of survival and existence; as both being stigmatised for threatening the matrix of heterosexual reproductive futurity, and as both being ‘othered’ living forms. Embracing abnormality, or queerness, in this way, is seen as the ‘way out’.
The queers' plastic paradise (Detail front)
Wood, found plastic, glue, polystyrene, metal, clear vinyl plastic, made plastic, plaster
1800 x 1000 mm
Becoming-thing, Blob Installation (Detail)
Carved wax, synthetic sponge, cellophane, wood, plaster, wood, cement, plaster, polystyrene, tape
500 x 1020 x 168 mm
Becoming-thing, Blob Installation (Detail),
Found object, plaster, wood, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, cold glue
540 x 1020 x 168 mm