Performed to George Michael's Freedom '90
Made in collaboration with E.G. Crichton's curatorial project Out/Look the birth of Queer, Freedom '17 playfully reflects on how much has changed in the U.S. since 1990 (the year that my inspirational issue of OUT/LOOK was published). My project playfully opens up critical refection on issues both within and outside of LGBTQ+ communities including gender, whiteness, performativity and how they intersect with issues around patriotism, and nationalism particularly during our current political climate.
In perusing the winter 1990 issue of OUT/LOOK: National Lesbian & Gay Quarterly I was struck by how much has changed within the LGBTQ+ community over the past decades with regard to identity definitions and self-expression. For example several of the works in issue 7 express anxiety about ascribing to, and performing within narrowly defined sexual identities. Today LGBTQ+ culture is engaged in making space for non-binary genders and we understand sexuality and gender as independent from one another, often fluid and ultimately self-defined. Meanwhile outside of LGBTQ+ communities nationalism, patriotism, racism, homophobia and transphobia seem to be continually enmeshed and invested in limiting and policing bodies and identities.