sh[OUT]: Contemporary Art and Human Rights
- Allan Radcliffe
- 2 April 2009
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex life is placed centre stage this summer as part of GoMA’s biennial social justice programme, which explores human rights through the lens of contemporary art. While there are few high-profile artists in Scotland whose practice deals with issues of LGBT rights and history, curator Sean McGlashan has assembled work by internationally renowned artists such as David Hockney, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
Works on show range from Deborah Kass’ Warhol-inspired ‘Orange Deb’ to the tender ‘The Actresses’ by Sadie Lee, which depicts two middle-aged women, half-clothed and spooning in bed.
As McGlashan makes clear, the exhibition has a wider role in highlighting and raising awareness of the issues, as well as entertaining. ‘LGBT people have made substantial progress concerning respect and rights in recent times, but there’s still a long way to go. For instance, although Scotland has been very progressive in allowing same-sex couples to have civil partnerships, if these same couples walk down the street holding hands they are frequently subject to verbal, if not physical, abuse. Unfortunately, many youngsters continue to use “gay” as a term of derision.’
Alongside the main show and a smaller lead-in exhibition in Gallery Three, offshoots include a year-long outreach programme, three artists’ residencies and five shows on the gallery’s balconies as well as artist talks and performances. The schools and communities programme will be delivered at GoMA’s Studio, while a series of LGBT-related films will be screening in Gallery Two between July and October.
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Thu 9 Apr–Sun 1 Nov