Desire is WAR!
Despite the obvious advancements in the process of secularization of the Romanian remains under the heavy domination of religion. Even though the degree of tolerance towards sexual minorities has increased recently, understanding and respect for such minorities are far from being widespread.
In a rather hostile context, "Desire is WAR” is a statement exhibition that aims to provoke a debate around a certain kind of desire that quite often ignites intense bitter conflicts, even “wars” within families, groups of friends, neighbors, at school, at work or at home: the yearning for same sex persons.
By presenting a selection of recent works in video, drawing, text, sound from Apparatus 22, Muhammad Ali, Stefan Botez, Katja Eliad, Farid Fairuz, Mikhail Karikis, Matts Leiderstram, Matmos, MEN, Ioana Nemes, Gyarfas Olah, Karol Radziszewski, Emily Roydson, Ryan Trecartin, artists and musicians that consistently approached and examined queer topics, among others, „Desire is WAR” is opening up a space for discovery and dialogue that is much needed in Romania and not only.
The works in the exhibition discourse on a wide array of issues related to desire for same-sex persons: desire as source of inspiration, the struggle for rights to public participation and expression for the LGBT community and analysis of public rhetoric around civil rights, re-contextualisation of heterosexual icons in perspective, "spectacular" aura of queerness and associated mythologies, dilemmas and confusion caused by the self-acceptance of asexual orientation that is so often socially blamed, nostalgia, the narrative possibilities presented by juxtaposition of „normal” life with the „other”, virtue and sin, compromises and guilt, the power of seduction, queerness as means of aesthetic expression etc.
Music will be particularly emphasised within the show as we are interested in its potential to act as a tool of mass communication of both radical ideas and genuine emotions on queer desire.
There is a historical connection between queer community, the visual arts, and music. Numerous musicians have been using pop, dance or rock music together with cultural and historical references in order to wave political critique as well as genuine personal stories inspired by desire for same sex into a milieu that is resistant to it, thus succeeding to get across a message that otherwise would have less impact. The stronger connection of music to life and emotions makes the exhibition appealing to an audience beyond the standard contemporary art scene.
The exhibition display is smartly twisting a widespread cliché according to which urban queer culture is all about parties, promiscuity and glamorous lifestyle - see also the recent LGBT backlash against the self appointed ambassador of queer, Lady Gaga and her excessive depictions of flamboyant queer lifestyle and imagery. The works will feature in a chaotic post-party set that breaks the shiny surface and makes room for the real problems of queer community, to its dilemmas and possible solutions of transforming gaps between heterosexual and queer norms into forms of expressions and to ways of understanding cultural and sexual difference. Throughout the exhibition room there will be various materials on queer topics: magazines, publication, music mixtapes etc.