Midsumma Festival: Queer Economies
Queer Economies at St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Convent, forms part of a multi-site exhibition and public program series, which takes its cue from the handmade artworks and objects that queer artist and activist David McDiarmid gifted to friends and loved ones during his lifetime. Following in McDiarmid's generous logic, Queer Economies explores the non-monetary, in-kind economies that emerge within LGBTQIA+ communities, in order to foster resilience, love and connection.
Queer Economies at St Heliers Street Gallery is a community-led open call exhibition, inviting people from the LGBTQIA+ community to contribute an artwork 'gift' to someone to whom they are grateful. Functioning as an updated and expanded version of Gifts from David McDiarmid – a 2014 Perimeter Editions publication focusing on McDiarmid's gifting practice — this exhibition seeks to build connections between LGBTQIA+ people through non-monetary exchange and expressions of gratitude. At the conclusion of the exhibition, a closing party will be held so that artworks may be gifted to the individuals they have been made for.
In addition to the St Heliers Street exhibition, Queer Economies encompasses a curated exhibition of newly commissioned artworks by Australian LGBTQIA+ artists to be presented at Bus Projects; a series of contemporary video works to be screened after dark as part of the Centre for Contemporary Photography's Night Projection Window; and a multi-site series of coactive public programs and events taking place during the Midsumma festival period.
Queer Economies is curated by Abbra Kotlarczyk and Madé Spencer-Castle, with overall project participation by Tony Albert, Frances Barrett, Archie Barry, Nathan Beard, Debris Facility Pty Ltd, Briony Galligan, Rafaella McDonald, Callum McGrath, Claudia Nicholson, Spiros Panigirakis, Nikos Pantazopoulos, Parallel Park (Holly Bates and Tayla Jay Haggarty), Francis E. Parker, Charlie Sofo, Amy Spiers, Athena Thebus, Peter Waples-Crowe and Behn Woods, with more to be announced.
Image: David McDiarmid, BEYOND BLOOD (verso), gifted to Sally Gray, October 1993. Plastic lenticular substrate, felt pen on board, metal frame. 13cm x 18cm, Photographer: Warwick Baker. Reproduced with permission of Sally Gray, the David McDiarmid Estate and Perimeter Books.