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Girls who are boys who do boys like they're girls

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Girls who are boys who do boys like they're girls

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That's So Gay exhibit challenges simplistic views of 'man' and 'woman'
Forget everything you know about being queer.
 
Currently in its final weeks at the Gladstone Hotel, the third-annual That’s So Gay exhibit is looking to reclaim what it means to be queer during this year’s Pride season.
 
Curated by artist Sholem Krishtalka, the exhibit features the work of 12 artists and their commentary on alternative queer culture. This year, the exhibit focuses on challenging the gender binary and the role gender plays in how queer identities are understood.
 
“The stock idea of Pride shows is having people make pieces about what they desire,” Krishtalka says. “I wanted to change that.”
 
“The [exhibit] started by my wanting of male artists making pieces about women and vice versa,” he says.
 
Featuring both artists and subjects of a wide range of sexual, cultural and gender identities, the exhibit is a well-rounded look at the diversity of gender queerness.
 
While gender is often an under-discussed topic in regard to queerness, Krishtalka hopes this year’s exhibit will work to break the binary of maleness and femaleness inherent in society’s understanding of queerness.
 
“‘Man’ and ‘woman’ are not easy ideas or identifications,” he says. “Through that concept, this very fertile middle ground opened up, and the show really became about gender.
 
“I’m always trying to make Pride shows that tackle queerness obliquely that don’t exactly involve strict representations of desire,” he adds.
 
And That’s So Gay does just that.
 
Take Newfoundland artist Mikiki’s installation: a candid Skype interview with Canadian trans performer Lexi Tronic entitled Birthday Suit, it is an explicit exploration of Tronic’s body and what it means to be trans, discussing everything from her penis to the tattoos that cover the scars on her breasts.
 
Or take Kyle Lasky’s Lesbian Bedrooms II. The follow-up to an infamous earlier series, Lasky overcomes gender barriers to depict his understanding of lesbian identity and invites viewers behind the closed doors of lesbian living from a male perspective.
 
Other notable installations include Elisha Lim’s portrait of racism-versus-gender presentation, Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed’s lesbian confetti eyelash sculpture and Andrew Zealley’s soundwave portrayal of a night shared between two female lovers.
 
The exhibit, conceived by Krishtalka in association with the hotel’s Gaystone gallery in 2010, aims to provide an alternative look at and challenge representations of queerness. Even the exhibit’s name is tongue-in-cheek, bearing its origins in the often-negative connotations of the phrase “That’s so gay.”
 
But underneath it all, the exhibit is exactly what it claims to be: gay. Through this, the exhibit encourages audiences to examine their own identities.
 
“There’s an element of Pride that is self-congratulatory,” Krishtalka says. “But it should also be an opportunity to reflect on what comprises the identity that you’re so proud of.”
 
And while not all artists featured in the exhibit are queer, the artwork in and of itself is inherently queer, and that’s what differentiates it from other traditional Pride exhibitions.
 
The exhibit may not be the end-all explanation of gender expression in queerness – in fact, Krishtalka writes that the showcase is “sure to raise as many questions as it will answer” – but That’s So Gay sparks a dialogue about what it means to be both male or female and queer.
 
“Part of being proud of your identity is thinking about not who you are, but discussing how you are,” Krishtalka says.
 
And that’s a discussion the queer community can learn from.  
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Comments

and one more thing...
This kind of ''queer' work looks all the more shallow when compared to all of the truly great work that is out there. Glen Hanson, Ivan Coyote, Darrin Hagen, the late Steve Walker, the list goes on and on. None of these other artists challenge you... They ENGAGE you. Their work lacks pretension and this juvenile hipster obsession with, ''the main stream''
It is kind of sad.
A lesbian friend of mine once said, ''Oh my God, that girl over there in the fedora is such a poser...'' I think that's the problem. Posers... to many struggling hipster artists and ''queer'' artists and gender queer hipster ''artists'' that would never be accepted by any other group because their work tries way to hard and is so dull, tired and uninspired are flocking to our ''community''. The man in photo...another hipster! Perhaps...''challenging gender'', ''challenging heteronormtivity'', ''challenging simplistic (i.e. mainstream) ideas of men and women'', ''challenging this'', ''challenging that'' is a sign of weakness and insecurity? In real life, who blatantly challenges society and authority? Spoiled, immature, pretentious children and teenagers. That's what these works come off as.
call dog shit "genderqueer" and cash in
critique, you hit the nail on the head in your review of this garbage -- "Queer" and "gender" shows of "art" are merely therapy for mollycoddled brats who show off to their facebook friends that they are "community artists". Rubbish by children! Garbage impersonating arts and crafts. Put the word gender or queer on a pile of dog shit and they will flock to worship it. The Children of the Revolution are a complete disappointment.
I can sum up the show with one word: CRAPPPP !!!
I went out of my way to see this show today. I WASTED MY TIME. Not only are the images boring, and un-memorable, but they have no merit as “VISUAL” Art. They are another monotonous reminder that “Conceptual Art” falls apart when exhibited in the Visual realm. One series “Lesbian Bedrooms” is literally that: Lesbians in bedrooms. No experimentation, irony, parody, no Elements+Principles of Art, just lesbians in bedrooms, poor lighting and bad decor. SO WHAT !!??. If we take any of these images out of the exhibition, out of context, all by themselves, without titles, they would be even more boring and totally meaningless. A good writer does not need an illustrator standing by to evoke imagery in the minds of an audience. So then why does a visual artist need text to explain what an image is supposed to say or evoke? There is one image which is a hand written letter in a frame, hung on a wall. i didn't read it --I didn't care what it said because it was in the guise of visual art, so I just looked at it. I examined it for calligraphic technique, kearning, proportionate line length etc --it had no skills. It had contrived slanted lines of text --that was its claim to fame. I may have read it as a pamphlet lying on a table... That is the only thing I remember from the show because it had the audacity be on a wall as art. It pissed me off the most. That's why i remember it. Another projection on a wall had some Tranny showing off a tiny dick. I prefer big ones... But again there was no artistic merit or designed layout in the image. it just uneventfully waved a small dick in our face, like an antagonistic child would. The type you want to slap and tell to Fuck-Off. I can sum up the show with one word: CRAPPPP !!! Why bother people with stupid shit like this? Maybe it was good therapy for those who did it, but a waste of time for audiences. These people should take an introductory art course at least --but they won't be accepted with this work as their portfolio. LOL
gender's sexless so it sells better than Sexual O
Mike, good point. But to have a gender-free art practice for the people who call themselves queer would be a shift from identity to behavious, practice, interpersonal experience and real life interaction between same sex people, ie homosexuals presenting our sex and loves and lives. Instead, Queer is about forced inclusivity therefore no art about sex is allowed unless it includes everyone. If a penis-bearing gay male makes art about the sex and love he has with another penis-bearing gay male (or males) he will be shamed for not including sexual depictions of woman and trans and othered identities. Gender is the biggest con since LGBT. Sexual Orientation (same sex reality) has been slowly pushed aside for the more child-friendly and female-centric gender identity. Sex invokes images of hard penises and dirty homo men having ass sex. Gender invokes images of playing dress up and female genitals and fluffy things children love. The Dolorous Stroke of the Genderqueers killed Sex for Gender to assimilate. Someone will write this historical narrative one of these days.
If I hear the word queer once more, I'll scream
"Queer" and "queerness" (!) are used 13 times in this short article. Not by the people involved, of course, because real people don't use these words. Nope, this is all Xtra and its staff pushing their political agenda on innocent readers. Please...just stop.
Dispite the venom...
Despite the venom of the first poster...he does make a point... As important as gender is, the artistic and academic fronts of the community (Gay, Lesbian, Trans, Bi) has indeed been drowning in ''gender theory'' and ''gender expression'' and ''gender identity'' for almost 20 years at least the last 10 for sure. We should be challenging these ''queer'' artists and academics to come up with ''queer'' work that has nothing to do with gender or gender politics. How would you even begin to do that? That's a really good question. Does such a perspective even exist? These are important questions and I feel that they are just as important to all of our identities and our day to day lives. We need a holisitc apporach instead of the same (somewhat stale) approach of ''challenging gender.''
If I hear the word gender once more I'll scream
You wrote: While gender is often an undiscussed topic in regards to queerness --- You have got to be joking!!! I challenge any art event in Toronto aimed at "queers" to NOT be about gender! We have been drowining in the same one note Lola genderblender theory for years here. Every "artist" calling themselves "queer" works with "gender". Never has such a feminization of maleness under the guise of queer gender reduced male artists to lapping clit puppies of Butlerian penis-self-hate and man-shame.
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