Rafael Pérez Evans: Dust Bathers 23 February–16 April 2023 QUEERCIRCLE 0.1, Building 4, 3 Barton Yard Soames Walk, Design District Greenwich SE10 0BN
QUEERCIRCLE is pleased to present ‘Dust Bathers’, a large-scale, site-specific installation by Rafael Pérez Evans. ‘Dust Bathers’ borrows the collective and transgressive techniques of minority communities protesting for survivaland presents a poetic opportunity to asilvestrar–the artist’s Spanish translation for the English verb to re-wild–following the work of queer theorists, Jose Esteban Muñoz, Jack Halberstam and Tavia Nyong’o.
A departure from urban and eco-bourgeois appropriations of the rural, ‘Dust Bathers’ will look to the robust histories and imaginative capacities of rural agricultural protest and queer dissent.
Bridging two surplus communities and their respective sites of unrests –those of agricultural workersprotesting on the streets, and the dancefloors of Queer nightlife –Pérez Evans will present a new experimental installation whichwill embody untamed, dirty gestures of resistance. By metaphorically draining the technicolour spectacle of the LGBTQ+ rainbow, Pérez Evans will inviteaudiences to dust bathe in earthy tones as an exercise in imagining alternative horizons. Dust bathing is an animal behaviour characterised by rolling or moving around in dust, dry earthor sand, with the purpose of removing parasites, maintaining healthy skin or transmitting chemicals to mark territory.
Visitors will first enter the QUEERCIRCLE exhibition space via industrial-sized, see-through PVC strip curtains, usually used to refrigerate large spaces in the industrial food industries, but also reminiscent of the entrance of now-closed East London gay bar The Joiner’s Arms. The gallery floor will be heaped with earthy material. Borrowing the machinery and language of agricultural workers, at one side of the room, a long conveyor belt connected to a large industrial hay blower will be installed.
Once a day during opening hours, visitors will be invited to load earthy material with their bare hands onto the conveyor belt. Staff will turn on the machine and the conveyor belt will feed the earthy material into the blower, creating an ephemeral dust cloud, temporarily bathing the gallery and engulfing visitors in earthy tones.
Outside of these scheduled activations, audiences will be invited to roll, shake, dance and dust bathe at their leisure. For the first time since its launch, QUEERCIRCLE’s side window will not be obscured, allowing passers-by and visitors not wishing to partake to view the dust storms from outside. ‘Dust Bathers’ will conclude QUEERCIRCLE’s inaugural year-long programme cycle centred around the theme of ecology.
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