The month of June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community and reflect on the advances of queer people to strengthen civil liberties around the world, even in a moment of great political uncertainty. It’s also a good opportunity to spotlight the richness and diversity of culture we have within the community. Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one contemporary queer artist per day on the website and letting them speak for themselves. Click here to participate.
Location: Toronto, Canada
Artistic Medium: Photography and Film
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m an artist, writer, part-time educator, and ongoing work-in-progress. I’m from Trinidad but have been living in Canada since emigrating here in 1992. And as of a few months ago, I’m the city of Toronto’s second Photo Laureate. My work is concerned with holding space for grief and loss, and considering the personal and political possibilities of these emotional experiences that we all have, but are told we shouldn’t talk about.
What are the top three greatest influences on your work?
Grieving my mother, Tina Campt’s theorizing of photography, and Black and queer folks’s daily theorizing of our lives.
Describe your coffee order.
Black with just enough almond milk to take the edge off.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
The small contributions I make to other people’s healing.
What constitutes a perfect day?
A strong coffee, a long walk, a new experience to satisfy my curiosity, and good food and conversation. Bonus points if that walk is somewhere out in nature.
What was your favorite exhibition from last year?
Rosalind Fox Solomon at Stephen Bulger Gallery.
What would your superpower be if you had one?
Tell us a lie about yourself.
I don’t cry easily.
What is one question you wish somebody would ask about your work?
What is up with your obsession with repetition?
What is the greatest threat to humanity?
What did you make when you first started making art?
I made relationships with people who gave me the permission I needed to make art.
Do you prefer spilling the tea or throwing shade?
Throwing shade as subtly as possible.
What is your all-time favorite work of art?
Marlon Riggs’s Tongues Untied.
What are your plans for pride month?
Balancing my disgust for corporate expressions of pride with my utter joy for being a part of this complex, messy, beautiful queer family.
What is the future of queerness?
Hopefully what it has always been: possibility and permission for other ways of being in the world.
Back in my day…
I knew less than I know now.
Name one guilty pleasure.
Condensed milk and cheddar cheese sandwiches, on white bread only.
A pervading sense of existential angst.
Is there enough support for queer artists where you live?
We are always expected to do more with less, so no.
How do you stay cool during the summer?
With a cold beer on Toronto’s naked beach.
What is your favorite type of milk?
The type that has been turned into ice cream.
“Queer Artists in Their Own Words” is an ongoing feature happening every day in the month of June. For prior posts in the series, please click here.
What would it look like if museums turned their billions toward positive good instead of questionable investments simply for profit?
Patricio Guzmán combines reflection on the past, observation of the present, and hope for the future into an expansive vision of all the ideas he’s explored in his work.
Artists reflect on histories of oppressive power structures in Brazil in this exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
So closely do Disney’s animators assimilate the sensibility of French design that on occasion their source material appears almost more Disney than Disney itself.
The Grand Avenue Billboard Project enables artists like Karen Fiorito to publicly express their political views.
The museum opens to the public on October 8 with a 24-hour kickoff and a rebooted California Biennial.
The report estimates that 6.7 million Indigenous objects and human remains continue to be held in Canadian institutions, most of which do not have formal repatriation policies.
Funding options at UB include full-tuition scholarships for MFA students, the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program, and additional opportunities for MA students.
The Association of Art Museum Directors announced a shift in its longstanding policy, which restricted the use of funds from sales of art to new acquisitions only.
Martín Mobarak may have broken Mexican law, but he burned the proof.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including the Maya Codex of Mexico at the Getty, Beatrice Wood, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and more.