January 18, 2019
Creative Labor presents: Precarious Lives
Exhibitions

Creative Labor presents: Precarious Lives

Thursday, June 6–Saturday, June 29, 2019
SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street

Precarious Lives marks the 22nd annual National Queer Arts Festival visual arts exhibition hosted by SOMArts Cultural Center. This year’s Creative Labor exhibition opens its field of view beyond its primary focus on creating a site of visibility for queer art to include the work of non-queer identified artists whose work has been instrumental in building the social and aesthetic network within which we understand and experience cultural difference and our own queerness. The exhibition looks outward from the public space SOMArts has created over the years – a safe, welcoming, inclusive physical place that affirms our presence as valued art-workers in our increasingly unsettled times.

The artists in the exhibition include: Marlon Riggs, Barbara Hammer, Lordes Portillo, Rhodessa Jones, Carlos Loarca, René Yanez, RJ Muna, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Nancy Hom, Justin Hoover, Michelle Tea, Bernice Bing, Madeine Lim, Tina Takemoto, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, Flo Wong, Lenore Chinn, Ester Hernandez, Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Sean Dorsey, Shawna Virago, Marcela Pardo Ariza, Scott MacLeod, Jordan Reznick, Mia Nakano/Visibility Project, Katie Gilmartin, Queer Ancestors Project Artists: Jorge Mata Flores, Joan Chen, Amman Desai, Corey Brown, Weyam Ghadbian, Sasha Solomonov, Amari Robinson, Renée Jones, Eva Ovalle, and CultureStrike Artists: Agana, Micah Bazant, Kevin Caplicki, Thea Gahr, Thomas Greyeyes, Nicolas Lampert, Fernando Marti, Colin Matthes, Mazatl, Nicolas Medina, Roger Peet, Gilda Posada, Jesse Purcell, Pete Railand, Favianna Rodriguez, Julio Salgado, Meredith Stern, David Tim, Rommy Torrico, Mary Tremonte, Erin Yoshi, Bec Young.

Building on the foundational work of philosopher Judith Butler’s notion of “precarity,” the term is used in the context of this exhibition as a condition that expresses the fundamental vulnerability of life. It points to an unsettled state of being on the verge of collapse, open to violence, subject to dispossession, heightened risk of physical and emotional breakdown, even premature death. It asks whose lives are worthy of visibility, of care. Whose lives lie beyond social norms and acceptance? Whose lives are erased, distorted or excluded from recognition by economic instability, cultural prejudice or legal status? And from this precarious position, it locates a site from which political demands and principles emerge and unfold in a multiplicity of aesthetic acts as resistance and affirmation. Precarity “implies living socially, the fact that one’s life is always in some sense in the hands of the other. It implies exposure both to those we know and to those we do not know; a dependency on people we know, or barely know, or know not at all.” This interdependent existence of precariousness holds political potentiality and opens us to the type of responsive action operating in the art/work presented in this exhibition. As Creative Labor (Queer Artists Working Group), we seek to express the fullness of our queerness in this reflection as self with others – in this interdependence, vulnerability, and care.

BACKGROUND
Precarious Lives is the third and final installment of a trilogy of exhibitions titled, The Turning, Queerly curated by Rudy Lemcke for Creative Labor. This project proposes a reframing of the idea of queer subjectivity as autonomous self-in-need-of-liberation to consider the self as self-with-others as the condition of possibility for modes of thinking about queerness in our technological age of networked connectivity (Self to #Selfie, 2017); it explores the sometimes-violent socio-political frame into which our identities have been thrown (A History of Violence, 2018); and considers the underlying conditions of human vulnerability as the site of care and futurity realized through the transformational labor of art (Precarious Lives, 2019).

CURATOR
Rudy Lemcke

PRECARIOUS LIVES FILM, LITERARY, AND PERFORMANCE SERIES
Thursday, June 6th, 6–9pm | Opening Reception and Film Screening

Celebrate the Precarious Lives opening reception in the Main Gallery and a free screening of Tongues Untied by Marlon Riggs.
The screening commemorates the 30th anniversary of the film’s release and will be shown in SOMArts’ Bay Gallery at 8:00pm

Tuesday, June 11th, 7:30pm | Performance Night – Curated by Micia Mosely
Featuring Marga Gómez, The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins, and Sr. Solas B. Lalgee.
Tickets $10 – $15 NOTAFLOF
Click here to purchase tickets

Tuesday, June 18th | Literary/Spoken Word Night 
Curated by Audaciously Speaking
Featuring: Vernon Keeve III, Evolve Benton, and Rose Gelfand
Tickets $5 – $10 NOTAFLOF
Click here to purchase tickets

Tuesday, June 25th | Experimental Film Night – Curated by Celeste Chan 
Featuring: Thirza Cuthand, Brontez Purnell, Irina Contreras, Lacey Johnson, Heather Maria Acs, Maya Songbird
Tickets $5 – $10 NOTAFLOF
Click here to purchase tickets

Image credit: Bernice Bing, courtesy of the Bernice Bing estate.

Tickets
free
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