Queer Archive? Imaginaries of Action and Pleasure. Madrid 1989-1999
The Future of the Revolt | WorldPride Madrid 2017
From 27 May to 24 September 2017
Location: Sala de Bóvedas
Drawing on the queer activism experience in Madrid in the 1990s, this exhibition represents an important exercise in reframing the very practices of the archive itself.
The Agitator (“Agitador”) hall has been set up in the interval between the two exhibitions. The hall is a space that will host works created specifically for the programme The Future of the Revolt: LGTBIQ Memory and Desire, as well as various activities associated with the project.
Some of the works exhibited in this collection include images that contain explicit sexual content.
After the rapid process of institutionalisation that followed Spain’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, new political identities began to emerge towards the end of the decade. The time was one of economic crisis, of the scourge of the AIDS epidemic, of aggression against non-normative identities and of institutionalised homophobia.
It was at this time, with the appearance of the LSD and Radical Gai groups on Madrid’s activist scene, that the queer movement broke out in the Spanish state. These groups called into question the prevailing political context by establishing connections with international militant networks as well as through the translation of texts, independent publication and agitation. Their political practices arose from the spontaneity and necessity of the moment, from the desire for change and action aimed at bringing it about. Both groups rejected the ideals of individual authorship, of original creation and of a grand style in favour of anonymous and choral-style creation. LSD and La Radi proposed a street aesthetic of protest based on stickers, posters, performances, badges, printed t-shirts, parties… with a manifest anti-commercial spirit.
Begun by Fefa Vila Núñez, Sejo Carrascosa, Andrés Senra and Lucas Platero during a research residency at the Reina Sofía Museum, Queer Archive? is an open repository consisting of images, publications, videos and texts. The archive is a palimpsest that aims to subvert heterocentric and patriarchal forms of categorisation simply through its very creation and exhibition, questioning the mode in which knowledge and experience are archived and how they are reported. To this end, the materials are structured into five thematic groups that aim to revisit the historical, social, affective, aesthetic and emotional magnitude of an activism determined to place life itself at the centre of its policy: Body / Memory / Politics of Life and Death / The Radicality of Language / Partying.