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 expands the exhibition and considers trajectories of queer kinship — platonic, romantic, sexual and otherwise — from different social and historical perspectives.
ALOK: Friendship is Romance
ALOK reads their poem about practicing intimacies that challenge the value of romantic love above all other affiliations.
Ella Sutherland: SALT
This collaborative work takes the form of a decorative display font and comprises found letterforms collected by 26 contributors.
Nikos Pantazopoulos' video reimagines the Oxford Street nightclub The Midnight Shift, which closed after 25 years in 2017.
1988 – 2020: From Wicked Women to Club Kooky
DJ Gemma tracks Sydney’s underground lesbian and queer dance scene, remembering past 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.
Kelly Doley introduces 'Wicked Women', a sex positive magazine created for and by lesbians in Sydney.
José Da Silva introduces the work of Mark Aguhar who was an active blogger on Tumblr in the early 2010s under the name CallOutQueen.
Historian Timothy Roberts introduces ‘Leather Pride, Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of the leather community’ (1992) by Gavin Kirkness.
Farrant Street House Books
Kelly Doley introduces 13 house books from an all-female share house in Adelaide with strong connections to the Women's Liberation Movement and lesbian community in South Australia.
Curator Anni Turnball discusses the Australian collection held at the Powerhouse Museum – Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
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 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 discusses the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives collection and the role of archives in preserving LGBTQI+ histories.
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 Kelly Doley about friendship, collaborative networks, co-authorship, and queer support structures.
Helen Grace reflects on her extensive photographic archive, tracking life at the women-only community, Amazon Acres.
Dani Marti discusses his video and painting practice that navigates issues of power and care in human relationships.
Macon Reed discusses their work Eulogy for the Dyke Bar 2016 that revisits the legacy of lesbian and dyke bars.
Timothy Roberts discusses the politics, culture and histories of motor clubs in Australia, examining these as precursors to leather clubs where alternate families and friendships form.
Kerryn Drysdale and Sophie Robinson discuss the rise, decline and transformation of lesbian and queer social spaces.
Kerryn Drysdale and Sophie Robinson consider what led to the downfall of lesbian spaces as well as the productive role of trans and gender diversity within communities.
Paul Byron talks Tumblr, TikTok and more, exploring how queer digital spaces are made and remade through friendship and peer support.
DJ Sezzo reflects on her experiential club nights and the importance of QPOC (Queer People of Colour) party spaces.
Daniel Marshall talks about the ways we try to connect to the queer past and efforts to build intergenerational kinship.
Macon Reed: Eulogy for the Dyke Bar
Introducing the exhibition is 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. Supported by Museums & Galleries NSW.
Banner and Tile Image: Parallel Park (Holly Bates and Tay Haggarty) Tandem 2016. Digital photograph. Image courtesy: the artists
Images: Macon Reed Eulogy for the Dyke Bar 2016. Installation and programming series. Installation view, 'Friendship as a Way of Life', UNSW Galleries, 2020. Photograph: Zan Wimberley