Drama Queer explores the role of emotion in contemporary queer art

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As part of the 2016 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, art historian Jonathan D. Katz will bring together 23 artists and more than 80 works of art for Drama Queer in an exploration of the role emotion has on contemporary queer art and how these emotions can be used in activism.

“Queer emotions often pull in two directions at once: we are different and yet exactly the same as straight folk, we can hate traditional gender norms, and yet find them hot, we want to be mainstream, even as we proudly celebrate our differences,” says Katz. “Even the word queer, once an insult, is now a compliment. Contradiction is the queer norm, for the very identity that marked us as outlaws has now given us freedoms unimaginable a few decades ago. This exhibition explores the emotional contradictions in being queer today through the work of some of the best international queer artists, some of whom, fittingly, happen to be straight.”

Centred around paintings by Vancouver artist Attila Richard Lukacs, Drama Queer will feature visual artists from Europe, the US and Canada, including Cassils, Angela Grossman, Bill Jacobson, Vika Kirchenbauer, Rudy Lemcke, Kent Monkman, Zanele Muholi, Jesse Finley Reed, Joey Terrill and Del LaGrace Volcano.

“This year’s curated visual art exhibition Drama Queer: Seducing Social Change interrogates the role of emotion in contemporary queer art as a form of political practice,” says SD Holman, the festival’s artistic director. “Curated by pioneering New York-based queer studies scholar and activist Jonathan D. Katz, Drama Queer explores the revolutionary power of contemporary art as a mechanism to coalesce feelings and direct them with activist intent.”

The Queer Arts Festival is an annual artist-run multidisciplinary festival produced by Pride in Art, which began in 1998. The Queer Arts Festival has a mission to produce, present and exhibit work with a curatorial vision favoring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue.

Traditionally held in July, the event date has changed to June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots take took place in New York in June 1969.

For more information on the 2016 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival visit http://queerartsfestival.com.

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