Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive

Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive


January 18, 2010
Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive

January 31 – April 25, 2010

Umea University


Kimberly Austin, Cecilia Barriga, Mary Coble, Aleesa Cohene, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Conny Karlsson, Heidi Lunabba, Al Masson, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Flemming Rolighed, Tejal Shah, Ingo TaubhornLost and Found: Queerying the Archive

Lost and Found – Queerying the Archive, curated by Jane Rowley and Louise Wolthers, is an international show of 13 contemporary artists focussing on memory and history in relationship to gender and sexuality. The exhibition is presented at Bildmuseet in close collaboration with Umeå Centre for Gender Studies and is accompanied by a series of seminars, artist’s talks and lectures. Using the potent and emotionally laden detritus of society, like silent movie footage, a jukebox archive of pop songs and alternative family photo albums, the art works in Lost and Found present new readings of the past or produce other archives. Using photography, video, installations and performance, the artists in the exhibition challenge official versions of history with humour and intelligence, tenderness and rage.

Elmgreen & Dragset invites the viewer into a universe where over 500 framed photographs provide glimpses of queer life based on friendship, desire and community, whilst Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay investigate the untranslatability of emotion with sound bites from 1,000 love songs. Mary Coble’s powerful work Blood Script is the result of a marathon performance where the artist had terms of abuse, including homophobic slurs, tattooed without ink on her body and documented in blood prints on water-colour paper pressed against her flesh.

The video artist Aleesa Cohene created a carefully composed compilation of hundreds of fragments of Hollywood films, sampling women’s roles from mainstream culture, but providing a very different storyline between two women. In What Are You?, Tejal Shah’s tribute to the transgendered Hijra community in Mumbai, the women in the installation present themselves as citizens with equal protection under the law, claiming their rightful place in society. Conny Karlsson’s video work, I Am Other, a statement about the labelling of transpeople created in collaboration with the writer and activist Andy Candy, explores the political empowerment of the act of naming and claiming difference as a source of strength.

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. The presentation at Bildmuseet is made possible through the support of Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Umeå University. The project has also been funded by Cultural Contact North and The Nordic Culture Fund.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with perspectives on queer art, the archive and activism by Jane Rowley & Louise Wolthers, Mathias Danbolt, Ann Cvetkovich, Joe Brainard and Heather Love.

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January 18, 2010

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