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Queer-y-ing the Arab — Online Opening and Virtual Tour

Queer-y-ing the Arab — Online Opening and Virtual Tour

Date(s) - 03/18/2021
3:00 pm - 3:45 pm

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Date And Time

Thu, March 18, 2021

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM PDT

Join curator, The Earl of Bushwick, on a virtual walkthrough and tour of Queer-y-ing the Arab exhibition on view at apexart and online.

About this Event

In the bath-house, the mysteries hidden by trousers / Are revealed to you. / All becomes radiantly manifest. / Feast your eyes without restraint!

– Abu Nuwas

Arab culture has long contained expressions of queerness—both in its non-conformity with Western cultural traditions, and in its occasional openness to homosexuality. Abu Nuwas explored gay themes in his 9th century poems, which feel contemporary in their celebration of gay lust and desire.

The last two centuries, however, have witnessed the suppression of queerness in Arab culture, with restrictions on homosexuality and emphasis on conservative social norms emerging primarily with European colonization and later on with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Yet Arab queerness and countercultures live on in myriad forms, blossoming in safe spaces and ebbing with repression, whether colonial or religious in origin.

Queer-y-ing the Arab explores queerness through an Arab perspective. It queries and then queers interpretations of queer, Arab, and art, pushing the boundaries of assumption to explore unfamiliar meanings. Not all artists in this exhibition identify as LGBT+, however, they all explore themes of queerness and non-conformity in their artistic practice. The emphasis here is on a more expansive definition of queer: as lying outside expectation or initial assumption.

Featuring works by:

Jamil Hellu

Aghiles Mana

Queer Habibi

Rima Nadji

The Earl of Bushwick

Elias Wakeem

Queer-y-ing the Arab is an apexart 2020-2021 NYC Open Call Exhibition curated by The Earl of Bushwick. The exhibition is on view at apexart and Online from March 18 – May 15, 2021.

Image: Queer Habibi, Yalla Club, Date unknown.

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