Queer Publics

A Conversation with Paul Couillard, Deirdre Logue, John Paul Ricco and Jason St-Laurent

Part of A Potential Toronto
Initiated by Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI)
More info: www.t-sci.ca

Friday, 9 November
7:30pm

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East (w. of Broadview)

In Toronto, queer publics have a powerful creative and political presence. LGBT artists have worked hard to construct counter-publics by working collaboratively, building production networks, and constructing events. These practices challenge regimes of heteronormative identity and capital competition through their emphasis on forms of intersubjectivity beyond couple, family and state, and politics based in desire rather than regulation. How might the codes, protocols, laws and imperatives of heteronormativity, interiority, and the public/private divide be refused and reconfigured?

What creative potentials for redefining intersubjectivity emerge through the formation of queer publics, and counter-publics? How does the production of minor spaces and practices change the life of the city? And when these spaces are subsumed by dominant practices and politics, how can queer publics re-politicize themselves? Local curators, artists and educators Paul Couillard, Deirdre Logue, John Paul Ricco and Jason St-Laurent talk about the erotic, aesthetic, ethical, and political potential of queer publics.

Paul Couillard has been working as an artist, curator, and organizer since 1985, focusing on performance art with forays into video, installation, and holography. He has created well over 100 solo and collaborative performance works in more than a dozen countries, often working with his partner Ed Johnson. Couillard was the Performance Art Curator for Fado from its inception in 1993 until 2007, and is also a founding co-curator of the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival, both based in Toronto.

Deirdre Logue’s film and videos address how it is that women organize their images and identities for mass consumption, and how this reflects or distracts from our knowledge of the individual. She is interested in both queer and feminist theory, early video and performance art, psychoanalysis and psychosomatic illness. Deirdre was the Executive Director of the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video from 1995-1999, the Executive Director at the Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre from 2001-2006, and is currently the Development Director at Vtape in Toronto.

John Paul Ricco is a queer theorist, curator, and sometimes performance artist. Author of The Logic of the Lure (2002), his work is dedicated to thinking the ethics, politics and aesthetics of social-sexual space. He is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History, Media Theory and Criticism at the University of Toronto, and curator of “Queer Here, Queer Now,” a three-part exhibition of contemporary queer video, opening in January 2008 at V-Tape, Toronto.

Jason St-Laurent is an artist and curator based in Toronto and currently working as Director of Programming for Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival. He has curated more than 50 projects in Canada, Finland, Estonia, South Africa and Mexico.

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