Odds and Ends

December 12, 2008

Michael also mentioned it in his post, but re: queer abstraction I should direct you over to Dean Sameshima’s website, which is worth way more than a quick look.  What’s striking to me is a photo in one of the installations in which Sameshima has overlaid a photo of a naked man in bondage with the rainbow flag colors.  I think this group show is going to be a lot about how not to just repeat what he and FGT have already done.

Speaking of rainbow flags, I never got around to a formal post on the history but a quick and dirty wiki search reveals that rainbow flags have been around for over 2,000 years, and the one that bears the closest resemblance to the one we know and are ambivalent about is an Inca flag that dates back that far.  The flag “we” use was invented in 1978 and supposedly is directly symbolic in that each color stands for something, but I would challenge you to make a case for why that is important.  (I remember that one of the stripes stands for diverstiy, which, heh heh.)

Also, Michael’s ability to see sex in everything has me working on a few pictures and a video that’ll be up here soon.  Not exactly abstract, but definitely queer.

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One Response to “Odds and Ends”

  1. mbuitron Says:

    I remember going to my first pride in 1980 and seeing early iterations of the rainbow flag–some with a lambda in the upper left corner. The rainbow is such a cliche for diversity, it seemed to be more a symbol of flag design by committee. Now some thirty years later, it has amalgamated quite a pile of signifiers!

    I think Dean is a really important artist to consider in the is discussion, though I don’t think of abstraction as being a central issue in his work. At the same time, he totally nails the queer part, then heads off in different directions. I think his mode of operation is important to consider, as it eliminates the coy ambiguity that allows some work to “pass” in heteronormative contexts.


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