January 5 – February 14, 2015
Works by Mark Clintberg, Brendan Fernandes, Kim Kielhofner, Hazel Meyer, Will Munro, taisha paggett, Yann Novak, Elizabeth Price, Emily Roysdon, Alexandro Segade & Mateo SegadeCurated by Erin Silver
TEMPERAMENTAL presents work by contemporary artists whose intermedia, immersive, and synesthetic works recall postwar avant-garde experiments with sound, music, movement, textiles, film, video, and collage, such as those undertaken at Black Mountain College, within Fluxus, and in the join of Minimalism and dance. Through performances and constructions, both material and conceptual, TEMPERAMENTAL explores and evokes not only this period of radical emancipation from governing forms of artistic expression, but also the complex “open secret” of queer socialities and sexualities during the pre-gay liberation era.
Evoking many of the formal strategies of intermedia artists working in earlier decades, including Anni Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Simone Forti, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, and Dieter Roth, the contemporary artists featured in TEMPERAMENTAL offer a radical update of an art of the every day. But the term “temperamental”—once a euphemistic term for homosexual—also conjures the more brashly defiant immersive practices of artists such as Kathy Acker, Kenneth Anger, Charles Ludlam, Paul Morrissey, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, and John Waters, whose works more explicitly referenced the bodily, sexuality, and emotional intensity. Employing the metaphor of musical temperament, in particular, the dissonance created by compromising pure intervals of just intonation, TEMPERAMENTAL plays with aural and perceptual dissonance, both repeating and queering phenomenological experiences of the gallery space.
Putting these earlier histories of intermedia practices into dialogue with queer aesthetics, TEMPERAMENTAL promotes a radical perceptual rearticulation of each via proximity; more specifically, this proximity works to tease out the implicit and potential loudness of the earlier histories and the deep and lasting influence of historical intermedia practices on contemporary queer intermedia art. The implicit, rather than explicit, enactments of queerness in the work is intended, as well, to incite thinking about where the queerness of contemporary art resides, newly articulating a radical politics of form.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an online publication including texts by curator Erin Silver and art historian Amelia Jones, images of works in the exhibition, audio descriptions and artist biographies.
Programming supported by Equity and Diversity in the Arts, Department of Arts, Culture & Media, University of Toronto Scarborough.