When Sholem Krishtalka settled on the moniker That’s So Gay for the Gladstone Hotel’s Pride exhibition five years ago, it was a cheeky act of protest. Reclaiming the tired homophobic insult as an affirming and inspiring label became not only an act of rebellion, but a template for how the event would ultimately be programmed.
In 2013, That’s So Gay moved to having a new director each year. For 2014, curator Syrus Marcus Ware chose the theme On the Edge. Wanting to challenge what he considers a “narrow understanding” of what it means to be a queer artist, he’s built a show designed to deconstruct the notion of a simplified LGBT community. The artists he’s collected all somehow embody notions of being on the edge, either through choice or through experiences of marginalization.
“I wanted to examine what it means to have a queer and trans art show in 2014,” he says. “The show examines what these terms mean more broadly and how they play out through the act of creating new work.”
Anna Jane McIntyre’s Portraits of Another Mother plays with fetish and kink while speaking about her experiences of motherhood through an interactive foosball table. Hazel Meyer’s Intestinal Anarchy! looks at pleasure and pain through reimagining labels like “artist,” “jock” and “diseased.” Filipino artist Jo SiMalaya Alcampo’s Beneath the Barong challenges the idea of gender-specific pronouns by exploring Tagalog (the traditional Filipino language), which doesn’t differentiate between he, she and they.
“I wanted to consider the experience of life on the edges, the notion of edging forward and addressing the sense of being on the edge of a new understanding of communities,” Ware says. “I’m hopeful it’s a show that really pushes our understanding of our communities and helps us think differently about the world we live in.”