Friendship as a Way of Life
- When 8 May - 21 Nov 2020
CNR OXFORD ST & GREENS RD, PADDINGTON NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM–5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
‘Friendship as a Way of Life’ brings together more than 20 artists and collaborative groups to explore queer kinship and forms of being together. The exhibition centres around three ideas that offer perspectives on LGBTQI+ partnerships, collaboration, visibility, sex, intimacy and knowledge: ‘Public Relations’ (the public expression of private lives and forms of communicating identities); ‘Living Arrangements’ (spaces and approaches to living/being with ‘chosen families’); and ‘Intergenerational Kinship’ (learning, sharing and support across generations). Presented across the entire gallery and online, this major project seeks to foreground the way LGBTQI+ communities create alternative networks of support through various creative and resourceful means.
Shannon Michael Cane
Elmgreen & Dragset
Gavin Kirkness and the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt project
Parallel Park (Holly Bates and Tay Haggarty)
A.L. Steiner & A.K. Burns
and material from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
José Da Silva and Kelly Doley
Virtual Tour | Experience the exhibition online and through VR headsets
Forms of Being Together
This companion program provides an opportunity to expand the exhibition and consider trajectories of queer kinship — platonic, romantic, sexual and otherwise — in contemporary art and popular culture. Each week, new content will be uploaded and streamed on the website and social media channels, offering a range of live events and ephemera.
ALOK: Friendship is Romance
ALOK reads their poem about friendship and practicing intimacies that challenge the value of romantic love above all other affiliations.
This collaborative work produced by Ella Sutherland takes the form of a decorative display font. It comprises found letterforms collected by 26 contributors connected to Sutherland's queer landscape.
1988 – 2020: From Wicked Women to Club Kooky
DJ Gemma tracks Sydney’s underground lesbian and queer dance scene, remembering the nights, people and music.
Mother Inferior: Exorcism for Healing the World
Mother Inferior from the Sisters of The Order of Perpetual Indulgence Sydney offers an exorcism and blessing for healing the world.
Curator Anni Turnball discusses the Australian collection held at the Powerhouse Museum – Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
Farrant Street House Books
Kelly Doley introduces 13 house books from 69 Farrant Street, Adelaide, an all-female share house active from 1987–93 with strong connections to the Women's Liberation Movement and lesbian community in South Australia.
Chicago-based artist Mark Aguhar (1987–2012) was an active blogger on Tumblr in the early 2010s, where under the name CallOutQueen she posted one-liners, lengthy rants, selfies, art, and navigated the struggles of family, desire and self-worth.
DJ Gemma discusses the evolution of Sydney's underground queer dance scene: from Wicked Women nights in the late 1980s to the Sex and Subculture parties of the 1990s and the institution that is Club Kooky.
Collaborative duo Parallel Park interview each other and discuss the ways intimacy, tension, care and the everyday play out in their practice.
Ella Sutherland and Sarah Rodigari discuss relationships between printed matter and queer histories, and Sutherland's works responding to the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand and lesbian magazine Wicked Women.
In Conversation: Nick Henderson & Kelly Doley
Nick Henderson, Committee Member of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA) discusses the ALGA collection and the role of archives in preserving LGBTQI+ history.
Nikos Pantazopoulos discusses his practice with curator and friend Madé Spencer-Castle, reflecting on the public dimension of private experience.
Frances Barrett talks with long-time collaborator and UNSW Galleries Deputy Director Kelly Doley about friendship, collaborative networks, co-authorship, and queer support structures.
Helen Grace reflects on her extensive photographic archive, tracking life at the radical, women-only community, Amazon Acres.
Dani Marti discusses his video and painting practice, including the major video installation Notes For Bob (2012–16), navigating issues of power and care in human relationships.
Macon Reed discusses their work Eulogy for the Dyke Bar 2016, an immersive installation that revisits the legacy of lesbian and dyke bars.
This series of illustrated talks explores LGBTQI+ gatherings in Australia from different social and historical perspectives.
Historian Timothy Roberts discusses the politics, culture and histories of motor clubs in Australia, examining these as precursors to leather clubs as well as spaces where alternate families and friendships form.
In the first of two talks, Dr Kerryn Drysdale & Dr Sophie Robinson discuss the rise, decline and transformation of lesbian and queer social spaces.
In their second talk, Drysdale & Robinson consider what led to the downfall of lesbian spaces including theories of gentrification and a 'post-gay' era, as well as the productive role of trans and gender diversity within communities.
Digital media scholar Paul Byron talks Tumblr, TikTok and more, discussing how queer digital spaces are made and remade through friendship and peer support.
Advocating for the importance of QPOC (Queer People of Colour) party spaces, DJ Sezzo reflects on her experiential club nights in the context of contemporary expressions of culture and identity.
Daniel Marshall talks about the ways we try to connect to the queer past, and reflects on efforts to build intergenerational kinship.
Macon Reed: Eulogy for the Dyke Bar
At the centre of the exhibition is a presentation of Macon Reed’s immersive installation Eulogy for the Dyke Bar 2016. Reed’s work revisits the legacy of lesbian and dyke bars and functions as both an environment mimicking the interior of a bar and a community space for performances, conversations and socialising. It reclaims the term ‘dyke’ in its most expansive sense and recognises that gender and identities are complex and fluid. The ‘bar’ is open to anyone who has identified with the term or an experience of feminine-spectrum queerness in the past or present (or perhaps future), and/or feels an affiliation or ally-ship with dyke culture.
Film | Macon Reed: Eulogy for the Dyke Bar (2017)
Watch Isabel Farrington's short documentary portrait of the installation during its closing night in New York City.
This series of online graphic design and printing workshops are designed for LGBTQIA+ and allies aged 12–25 years. Developed in partnership with Twenty10, the workshops are facilitated by Sydney-based artist Kieran Butler.
Header Image: Parallel Park (Holly Bates and Tay Haggarty) Tandem 2016. Digital photograph. Image courtesy: the artists
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