A Strangely Glorious Opportunity

Posted on Tue 17 Nov by AlexK / gender, Trans, Video art, Artists Moving Image, transgender

Fringe! guest curator Panos Fourtoulakis writes about the curatorial process of choosing artist's and works for one of his projects this year.

by Panos Fourtoulakis

A Strangely Glorious Opportunity. The title of the project came out of a conversation with AA Bronson on Scruff regarding queer identity and sums up perfectly my thinking towards it. The idea of queer as something that goes beyond sexual politics and enables one to question the system at large and enquire power structures that otherwise probably would have been taken for granted. How one’s gender and sexuality can become an opportunity in order to challenge terms of normativity that are considered neutral within society, but they’re actually not.

What has always drawn me to the idea of transgender, is the sense of becoming. The ascendancy of one’s choosing what they can be instead of being fixed to something they do not identify with. And in doing so, the political aspect of their action as one of subverting neo- liberal heteronormative limitations. Going beyond binary oppositions and willing to defy dominant systems of oppression by living the life they want. 

The aim of this project is to be as multisided as possible, offering an array of different narratives and perspectives- exploring gender as something not fixed and always fluid- while at the same time create a coherent story. A Strangely Glorious Opportunity showcases work by Oreet Ashery, Pauline Boudry/ Renate Lorenz, Ursula Mayer, Carlos Motta and Wu Tsang.

From apocalyptical dreamlike experiences, to real accounts of challenges faced around the world, to transgressive performances and accounts of fictional lives, to exploring notions of mimicy and appropriation. One of the main themes that run through these films is how the boundaries between performance, appropriation and the ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ become ever more blurred. Something that makes one question what is considered authentic/real in the first place and how we define such notions. Another theme that runs through some of the videos is how the struggles faced by certain minorities are shared by others and how all these issues are interlinked. How until they are all free none of them will be.

I feel really grateful to showcase work by artists who I genuinely admire and who’s practice has expanded and in some cases formed my understanding towards the aforementioned issues. 

A Strangely Curious Opportunity screens Friday 27 November at Rose Lipman Building
General Idea: Video Works, 1977-1984, also curated by Panos and followed by a Q&A with AA Bronson, screens on Sunday 29 November at Barbican Cinema