QUEER BODY POLITIC

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Queer Body Politic is an online contemplative space featuring video-performances by a small cross-section of queer-identified Montreal artists, as well as excerpts from interviews with five artists, and an essay.

The project is conceived by Studio 303’s 2019-20 Curator-in-residence, Aaron Pollard. Aaron is a mid-career artist with a long history with Studio 303 as part of the performance duo 2boys.tv.

Since I arrived in Montreal in 1993, Studio 303 has provided me with a space to contemplate a “queer body politic” as an audience member, as an artist, and now as a curator-in-residence. My hope now is that carving out this little bit of cyberspace provides a psychic place for the contemplation of generational memory and its implications for those of us whose very existence troubles normative ideas of kinship, reproduction and legacy. – Aaron Pollard

In collaboration with our intern Abigail Stushnoff, Aaron explored Studio 303’s 30 years of archives in search of works that speak to memory, history and a queer body politic. From there he investigated emerging practices by younger artists so as to underline the importance of collective memory in nourishing queer culture as a social and political entity. This research culminates in Queer Body Politic: a web based project that embodies generational memory through the lens of queer history.

Under Covid-19 measures, the trend to embrace online formats for performances and concerts is understandable but troubling. At best it seems a necessary stopgap measure. At its worst it becomes a norm, a coercive cultural policy. Live performance is a thing unto itself. A streaming event is something else entirely. One cannot replace the other. There is an intrinsic value in physical gatherings that cannot be replicated online. This is why I have opted here for a Web presence that is categorically different than a live performance. – Aaron Pollard


CREDITS – QUEER BODY POLITIC

Curated by Aaron Pollard, in collaboration with Abigail Stushnoff
Produced by Studio 303, supported through its annual residency for an emerging performance curator. The residency provides a framework for developing ideas through research, discussion and practice.
Video-performances by 2Fik, Karen Fennell, Winnie Ho, Phoenix Inana and Justin de Luna.
Interviews with 2Fik, Justin de Luna, Alexis O’Hara, Andrew Tay and Alex Tigchelaar.
Interview capsules include audio-visual material collected from Studio 303’s thirty-year history of presenting queer performance. Included artists are 2Fik, Alexis O’Hara, Andrew Tay, Dayna Mcleod, Gambletron, Jess Dobkin, Johnny Forever, Jordan Arseneault, Justin de Luna and Francesca Chudnoff, Karen Fennell, Kevin Jesuino, Lili la terreur (Eliane Bonin), Marihs Boulogne, Nate Yaffe, Nathalie Claude, Newton Moraes, Phoenix Inana, Sara Porter, Sarah Seene, Sarah Williams, SImon Portigal, Stephen Hues, Susana Cook, T.L. Cowan, and Winnie Ho

Aaron Pollard (curator) is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker and educator living in Montreal. Under the moniker of 2boys.tv and in collaboration with Stephen Lawson, Pollard has presented performances, installations and single-channel videos to audiences in Montreal, across Canada and internationally. He possesses decades of experience making art and teaching creative processes in correlation to video production, sound, music, projection, installation and performance. He has engaged periodically in curatorial work, having developed programming for Image+Nation film festival in the 1990s and through his contributions to OBORO’s programming as Head of Research for their multimedia sector. He has written essays for exhibitions by Allison Moore and Eman Haram and has published articles and reviews in Parachute, P-Form, The Canadian Theatre Review and Performance Research.

Abi Stushnoff (research assistant) is a transdisciplinary artist with a spectrum of interests including puppetry, analog and digital technologies, somatic dance practices, cyborg theatrics, still and moving image making, among other things. Abi is also a filmmaker with her first short film, Orange You Glad, premiering at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival (2018). Abi currently studies Intermedia CyberArts and Design for the Theatre at Concordia University.

*Studio 303 offers an annual residency for one emerging performance curator. The residency provides a framework for developing ideas through research, discussion and practice.