Queer

Reappraising the NGV’s heteronormative assumptions
by
ABR Arts 29 March 2022

Queer

Reappraising the NGV’s heteronormative assumptions
by
ABR Arts 29 March 2022
Installation view of <em>QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection</em> on display from 10 March–21 August 2022 at NGV International, Melbourne (photograph by Sean Fennessy)
Installation view of QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection on display from 10 March–21 August 2022 at NGV International, Melbourne (photograph by Sean Fennessy)

We all know that emancipatory drives in the late twentieth century dislodged the hegemonic politics of social normativity through the movements of second wave feminism, civil rights, and gay activism, but it’s worth remembering that some rights took longer than others. Homosexuality was only fully decriminalised in Australia in 1997 (Tasmania being the last state to do so); same-sex marriages were not legalised until 2017. While significant feminist and black power exhibitions blazed in the mid-1960s, with a legacy that has transformed the exhibitionary topography of contemporary art, queer art has taken longer to sidle into the limelight. Exhibitions from the 1980s such as Becoming Visible: Lesbian & Male Homosexuals (Constitutional Museum, Adelaide, 1982) and Imaging AIDS (ACCA & Linden Gallery, 1989) led the way, but Australia has not seen anything quite like the curatorial feat that is Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection (NGV International, from 10 March to 21 August 2022).

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