Asymmetric Grief at Arcadia Missa: The final in a trio of curatorial research projects by Binghao Wong that aim to critically pluralise queer life and its representations
Socio-political narratives of (neo)liberalism hide the unpopular truth that queerness is simultaneously adulated and annihilated. (Homo)normative campaigns for ‘freedom’ and hollow calls for ‘equal rights’ are robotically rehashed in these conditional utopias. In reality, tokenism, marketability, and pervasive co-optation ruthlessly exploit and normalise queer insurgencies. Despite (and because of) the mediatisation of the ‘greater acceptance’ of queer communities, our provocations have been leveraged as cultural currency, another passing fad, while the gravity of daily structural and fatal aggressions goes unnoticed.
Artists: Raisa Kabir, Jennifer Mehigan, Bhenji Ra + Justin Shoulder, Adam Saad
The end of the horizon is upon us. The moralism of a universal queer condition cannot persist while bodies of difference are systemically devalued and delegitimised. Insisting on grounding these imaginary exhortations, Asymmetric Grief contradictorily attempts to consolidate utopia, acknowledging failure, futility, and finitude as necessary ambivalences within a broader queer phantasmagoria. Flaws puncture fantasies. Disappointment exists alongside possibility. Visceral trauma deflates and debases lofty uniformity.
Through technotopic representations, Asymmetric Grief attempts to articulate the tensions of intersectional queer subjects who actively formulate the terms of their own visibility and agency. Tragic objects and bizarre animacies resist assimilation and recuperation, content in their abjection. Strategies of deliberate obfuscation and overkill become confused, interchangeable. Navigating the fragmentations and disillusionments of their cultural milieu, five queer-identified artists create irreconcilable embodiments of paradox, contingency, and frustration. They adopt and critically re-configure the fashionable, non-committal vacuity of corporatised tropes of queerness, producing nuanced representations that mirror the veiled imbalances of queer realities.
Asymmetric Grief is the final in a trio of curatorial and research projects by Binghao Wong that aim to critically pluralise queer life and its representations. Preceded by WE ARE LOSING INERTIA (2014) and Transgender Traces: Techno-Bodies Through Time (2015).
(text by curator Binghao Wong)
Arcadia Missa – Bellenden Road unit 6, London
Opening 17 July at 6-9pm – 25 July 2015