17 NOVEMBER 2017 – 6 MAY 2018
CURATED BY: SABEL GAVALDÓN & MANUEL SEGADE
ELEMENTS OF VOGUE considers the manifold ways in which minorities use their bodies to produce dissenting forms of beauty, subjectivity, and desire. These minor poetics are perceived as a threat to the normative world, and yet craved by mainstream culture—as exemplified by Madonna’s exploitation of the aesthetics of vogue. Looking into the debates, conflicts, and cultural struggles surrounding voguing as a case study in radical performance, Elements of Vogue tackles the intricate dynamics of assimilation and resistance. This is not an exhibition “about” voguing, but an essay that unfolds in multiple directions by looking at the queer body as an archive, in order to map out the different subjectivities, affective legacies, and embodied histories that come together in ballroom culture. Voguing, then, reveals itself as a case study to understand the emergence of pose, and its ability to articulate new social forms. The exhibition traces the networks of affiliation that shape the lives of those who cohabit in the space of the undercommons, and the strategies that enable them to dismantle the hegemonic categories of race, sex, and gender. Because a pose is sometimes enough to interrupt the process of normalisation, and the least of gestures can put history on hold.