QIY – Queer it Yourself: Tools for Survival
June 4 – 24th, 2011
SOMArts Gallery and Cultural Center
San Francisco, California
QIY curatorial committee:
Terri Berlier, Josh Faught, Jordy Jones, Rudy Lemcke (Chair), Matt McKinley, Pamela Peniston, and Tina Takemoto.
Exhibition Coordinator: Nicki Green
Exhibition Design: Matt McKinley
Inspired by the late 1960s utopian builders’ guide A Whole Earth Catalog, QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival presents a forum for queer do-it-yourself culture and alternative world making.
QIY is envisioned as a laboratory for creating a sustainable queer culture and demonstrating the power of self and community organizing, re-creation, speculation, and transformation. As an antidote to anti-sociality theories of queerness (that suggest queerness can only be rendered as a negation of heteronormativity), Queer It Yourself invites artists to forge their own tools for confronting the everyday challenges of contemporary queer existence.
The exhibition presents artists’ workstations, participatory spaces, hands-on training sites, maps, artwork, ephemera, and user-friendly art that foreground immersive and interactive experiences. These works demonstrate how art can provide active and meaningful tools for surviving our contemporary lived world.
The curators have queered the index of the original “Whole Earth Catalog” and adapted its thoughtful and useful categories to reinvent our own catalog of queer tool-making and to frame this QIY space.
Land Use / Dig it (organic farming, community gardens, eco-projects, communal land use, alternative rural communities, earthworks, cruising sites, rethinking public space, recycling projects).
Shelter / Sheltering (guides to urban and rural homemaking, greening your living space, housing collectives, redefining family, polyamorous living).
Craft Making / Queering it (queer arts and crafts, craft demos, how-to guides and workshops).
Commerce / Selling it (selling it, experiments with capitalism, fashion collectives, sexwork, alternative book, art, and product distribution).
Community / Join in (political organizing, queer community organizing, ad hoc political action committees, queer pride, gay shame, organizing your first demonstration).
Nomadics / Roaming (the culture of the road, the runway, the superhighway, transnationalism, queer diasporas, queer immigrant and exile cultures).
Communications / Connecting (zines, homo-core music, queer speed-dating, independent publishing, social networking, blogging, promotional strategies, writing your first press release, street art, queer graffiti).
Learning / Get Schooled (guides for queer survival , community art and culture projects, health activism, HIV/AIDS art and education, continuing education, grant writing and fundraising).
Style / Working it (working the runway, drag king culture, drag queen culture, fashion and make-up tips and tricks, makeover demonstrations, finding the right photographer for your head-shot).
— Curatorial Committee, 2011
We would like to thank the following funders for supporting this exhibition:
Zellerbach Family Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, California Arts Council.
Special thanks to: San Francisco Recreation and Parks, Visual Aids, GLBT Historical Society, Center for Sex and Culture, SOMArts Cultural Center, California LGBT Arts Alliance.
Queer It Yourself Artists
Blakk, Joan Jett
Bombardier, Cooper Lee
Boy with Arms Akimbo
Carland, Tammy Rae
Der Ananian, Greg
QIY: Queer It Yourself was funded by The Zellerbach Family Fund and the San Francisco Arts Commission.