Queer paper gardens or The Wildlife of Symbols
Commissioned by the EDP Foundation, co-produced for the 198 Contemporary Arts&Learning Gallery London and the Museum of Eletricidade Lisbon. Included in the exhibitions Dreaming Through –On & Into the Exotic, curated by Maria Kheirkhah and Queer Paper Gardens curated by João Pinharanda.
Queer paper gardens or The Wildlife of Symbols has been published by the EDP Foundation as a set of 5 books in a slipcase for the exhibition Queer Paper Gardens. The 5 volume set contains the artwork featured in the installation, made up of a collage-salon, two double-screen video-essays and two large-scale charcoal drawings, and integrates a variety of literary and visual narratives, that interweave fiction with historical archives.
Queer paper gardens or The Wildlife of Symbols approaches the history of collage through a combination of artistic research with historic and visual enquiry. The project references several works of collage, created across three centuries, which range from Flora Delanica (1772-1782), Mary Delany’s botanical collage work, considered a pioneering instance of collage on paper, to the photographic collages of the Victorian era and, finally, to the Modernist collage-novels that constitute the exhibition’s fulcrum: Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonté (1934), and Valentine Penrose’s Dons des Féminines (1951). Revisiting all these works brings out a number of visual and textual narratives that explore the concept of journey: a journey through the history of collage and a delocalisation in time – something quite appropriate to the inherent features of the collage technique; and a journey through the exotic as a space for freedom, allowing for playful experimentation in opposition to the repressive and reclusive environment of bourgeois home life.
The crossing and mixing of the aforementioned sources, together with the various stories they tell, generate a means to approach several contemporary sexuality-related issues, namely those concerning the contructions of gender.
Offset prints in munken pure 150, 21 cm x 29.7 cm