|Luna Luis Ortiz, Untitled (Melissa Xtravaganza), 1992, silver gelatin print, 20" x 16"|
Each month, Visual AIDS invites guest curators, drawn from both the arts and AIDS communities, to select several works from the Frank Moore Archive Project. This month, Quito Ziegler curated the online web gallery Elegy for a Queendom That Never Became, featuring the artwork of Tim Greathouse, Nelson Edwin Rodriguez, Luna Luis Ortiz, Jorge Veras, Vincent Cianni, Luis Carle, Bruce Cratsley, Yolanda, Mark Morrisroe, TRET, Richard Sawdon Smith, Robert Blanchon, and Brent Nicholson Earle.
What is it like to be a really nelly queen growing up without fierce glittery grandmamas to show you how it's done? Or a hot androgynous genderqueer werquing it out without foxy silver inverts to advise us? Or a tiny queen who can't kiki with the vogue ball veterans turned tender with age? How do you figure out how to walk ferociously on a path pockmarked by invisible stilettos?
Why can't ghosts tell stories?
The photographs in this gallery are extraordinary to me. They are the images I wish I had seen when I was younger, to know that such a life was possible: the gender play going on in the doorway of the Crowbar, the complex sexiness of the pregnant performer and their dildo. Coming of age in the early 90's, I was taught that to be gay meant dying of AIDS. All of these photos are pre 2000 and show different and overlapping lives being lived. Considering the radically queer lifestyle I’ve grown into, that lesson may actually have held some truth. (read more)
About the Curator:Quito Ziegler is an artist who likes to play with gender, color, string, glitter, and their old Nikon camera. A book of their photographs from Brooklyn's radical queer/transgender community will be published in 2013 by the Daylight Foundation. They are the former producer of the Moving Walls photography exhibition at the Open Society Foundations, and a prolific curator of collective interdisciplinary projects in the queer community including NOT OVER: Me, You, Us and AIDS, Fame and Shame on the Lower East Side, and MIXploratorium.