The Queer Art of Bewilderment
February 2, 2023
On the occasion of Frieda Toranzo Jaeger’s exhibition, Autonomous Drive, professor and theorist Jack Halberstam will explore a number of queer artworks that deliberately seek to bewilder viewers. In this context, bewilderment, which originally meant “losing oneself in a wild place,” opens onto queer models of nature, Indigenous reappropriations of folk motifs, and promiscuous blending of the ancient and the modern. Using the concept of “wildness” to describe sexualities and bodily forms that resist easy classification, the artworks that Halberstam will discuss, including works by Toranzo Jaeger, conjure alternate pasts and new futures. Such art bewilders time, space, history, science, and religion—unmaking and remaking worlds. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A.
View Frieda Toranzo Jaeger’s exhibition, Autonomous Drive, during extended hours until 7 pm, and stop by Mina’s for happy hour drink specials from 5-7 pm.
Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012), the short book Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press, 2018), and, most recently, Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire (Duke UP, 2020). Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam’s forthcoming volume on wildness is titled Unworlding: An Aesthetics of Collapse.
Frieda Toranzo Jaeger (b. 1988) lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. Her solo exhibition is on view at MoMA PS1 through March 13, 2023.