SourcesFrom an anti-essentialist perspective, Queer Theory challenges the notion of fixed, stable identities and their supposedly natural connection with the production of sexuality, which is reframed as a performative process open to permanent transformation. This would apply not only to gender, but also to class and racial identities.
Genealogies of practice
- Claude Cahun Nantes 1894-Isla de Jersey 1954
A French artist, photographer and writer. Her work, which was both political and personal, and often played with the concepts of gender and sexuality, is regarded today as a landmark in the history of representations of Lesbian identity. Barbara Hammer’s film Lover Other: The Story of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore (2006, 55 min) follows Claude Cahun and her life-long partner Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe) from 1920s Paris to Nazi-occupied Jersey in the 1940s, alternating between still pictures, archive footage, dramatic interludes based on a “found script”, and interviews with Jersey residents who knew the couple.
- Barbara Hammer (EUA) , 1939
A pioneer of queer cinema, Barbara Hammer has gained an international reputation in the field of American experimental cinema. One of the first film-makers to openly explore Lesbian sexuality and women’s pleasure, her oeuvre mixes genres, formats and avant-garde techniques, dealing with gender both through personal, autobiographical materials, and through memory archives and hidden lesbian and gay histories.
- colectivo LSD Madrid 1993-1999
The LSD acronym may stand for Lesbians Sweating Desire, Lesbian-Specific Difference, Lesbian Suspects Dancing, Lesbian-Supported Disorder… and every conceivable combination. An interview with Fefa Villa, co-founder of the LSD collective, by Gracia Trujillo and Marcelo Expósito, in Desacuerdos: Sobre arte, políticas y esfera pública en el Estado español, Cuaderno 1.
- Film: Paris Is Burning (EUA) Dir. Jennie Livingston, 1990
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. In the film the elaborately-structured Ball competitions are shown in all their intricacy as parodies of normative aesthetics- from clothing to walking in fashion shows- which denaturalised hetero-normative masculinity or femininity, and drag is presented as a complex performance of gender, class and race, in which one can express one's identity, desires and aspirations along many dimensions. The film depicts people with different gender identities or communities and their different forms of expression. It also explores how its subjects dealt with the adversity of racism, homophobia, AIDS and poverty.
- Del LaGrace Volcano (EUA) , 1957
Del LaGrace Volcano is a gender-variant visual artist and cultural producer working with the body and gender/sexual identity notions for both social, political and personal purposes. Del has produced four monographs: Love Bites (1991), The Drag King Book (with Judith Halberstam) (1999), Sublime Mutations (2000), and Sex Works (2005).