Exhibition: OUT: Queer Looking, Queer Acting Revisited

Friday 19 September – Saturday 18 October, 2014
Curated by Robin Metcalfe
In collaboration with: Emily Davidson, Genevieve Flavelle, Beck Gilmer-Osborne, Adam Myatt

This exhibition partially recreates the 1997, Queer Looking, Queer Acting: Lesbian and Gay Vernacular, originally presented at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery and curated by long-time gay activist, Robin Metcalfe (now Director/Curator of Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery). The original exhibition comprised ephemeral, mostly print materials that served or reflected Queer activist struggles in Halifax between 1972 and 1997. These included print multiples, such as posters, handbills, T-shirts, and pins; video and film; performance, broadly defined to include drag shows and political demonstrations, and their props; and ways of marking, creating, and animating queer space within urban and architectural contexts.

The current exhibition is one of a series of events that the Khyber Art Society initiated to mark the 125th anniversary of 1588 Barrington Street, the former Church of England Institute (built in 1888), more recently the home of the Khyber Centre for the Arts. A building with a rich history that touches on many cultural communities in Halifax, 1588 Barrington has a particular historic importance for the local Queer (LGBT) community, having housed the legendary Turret social club from 1976 to 1983. The Turret was central to a generation of Queer activism that generated the materials featured in OUT.

Working in partnership with the NSCAD Queer Collective, curator Robin Metcalfe also chose to include a sampling of materials representing the current wave of Queer activism in Halifax. Emily Davidson, Beck Gilmer-Osborne and Genevieve Flavelle participated in both creating and selecting many of the materials from the present decade. The 144-page catalogue that accompanies OUT includes a complete reprint of the 1997 publication, with additional images and texts by Metcalfe, Gilmer-Osborne and Flavelle, and activist Rebecca Rose.

Image courtesy of photographer Daniel Matheson, The Khyber Centre for the Arts and from the collection of Robin Metcalfe:


CIRCA 1995