“Queer-y-ing the Arab” Exhibition


poster for “Queer-y-ing the Arab” Exhibition
[Image: Queer Habibi, Yalla Club, Date unknown]
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Ends in 5 days
Closed Today (Monday)

Curated by the Earl of Bushwick

Jamil Hellu,
Aghiles Mana,
Queer Habibi,
Rima Najdi,
The Earl of Bushwick,
Elias Wakeem

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 boudaries 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. The resulting exhibition challenges the popular notion of the art space as a sterile white cube, and revises the role of art audiences, and their ability to alter artworks and affect their own meaning or interpretation.

*Queer-y-ing the Arab is an apexart New York City Open Call Exhibition. For the latest information on the exhibition and related events, please visit https://apexart.org/earlofbushwick.php or contact elizabeth.larison@apexart.org.

The Earl of Bushwick is a non-binary queer Arab and immigrant, concerned with ideas of the Queer, the Other, and issues of not belonging, especially as it applies to art and class. Their home in Brooklyn, dubbed The Earl’s Court (2015), is a long-running safe space and art project. They have presented work at the Armory Show, Bushwick Open Studios, and the National Arts Club, New York (2019). The Earl of Bushwick also curated We are not artists (2017), and Red Black and Nude (2018).



from March 19, 2021 to May 15, 2021


http://www.apexart.org/index.htm (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays


Address: 291 Church St., New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212-431-5270

Between Walker St. and White St. Subway: 1 to Franklin Street or N/Q/R/W to Canal Street

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