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Lectures from the Allen Room & Wertheim Study: The Estrangement Principle : On the Problems with Labeling Art Queer


September 5, 2014

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In The Estrangement Principle, Ariel Goldberg has thoroughly examined the problems around labeling art queer.  Can one interrupt the labeling of their art in the process of making it?  Does all naming stand eerily at the border of commodification in a postcapitalist society?  This book-length-essay has grown in the Library’s Wertheim Study to become a historical and literary research project focusing on writers and artists who enact a form of conflicted resistance to labels in their work.

In this lecture, Goldberg will examine the pressures LGBTQIGNC+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Gender-Non-Conforming, Plus) people face in contemporary times.  Goldberg’s examination is performed through the lens of the New Narrative movement and the intersection of activism and writing in the work of Jack Waters, Rachel Levitsky, Gregg Bordowitz, Tisa Bryant and Sarah Schulman.  Goldberg will present their research on Renee Gladman’s dyke zine Clamour  from the late 90s in relation to Carlos Motta’s We Who Feel Differently  project. 

Much of Goldberg’s research is based on challenging the avalanche of the word “queer” in queer theory’s canon.  This is achieved through the tradition of the public intellectual performing close readings of the mundane publicity around us: press releases, mission statements, book blurbs and gossip.  In this lecture, Goldberg will also project images from their photographic practice to demonstrate certain theories of recognizability.  The Estrangement Principle is a durational inquiry about the feelings of urgency and doubt.

Ariel Goldberg is a writer in residence at the Library's Wertheim Study.  Goldberg's publications include the chapbooks Picture Cameras  (NoNo Press, 2010), The Photographer without a Camera  (Trafficker Press, 2011), and The Estrangement Principle, selections of which appear in Aufgabe 11A Book of Photographs is forthcoming from What Nothing Press in late 2014.  Goldberg is the recipient of a Franklin Furnace Fund grant for The Photographer, a series of performances and slideshows, most recently at Anthology Film Archives Single Frame Series in December 2013.  They have been an artist in residence at Headland's Center for the Arts, The Invisible Dog and Residencias Artísticas Intercambios in Mexico City.  Goldberg is the 2014 Wednesday Night Coordinator at The Poetry Project.  They teach writing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.