SMArt Talks

We Are Everywhere: Queer Spaces Between Ethics and Aesthetics

Ladislav Jackson

🗓 19th of April 2023

📍Hans Belting Library (Veveří 470/28, 602 00 Brno)


Based on his forthcoming book Images of Queer Desire (Vutium 2023), art historian Ladislav Jackson reimagines queer visuality, queer memory and queer citizenship in terms of queer spaces. This perspective offers a more complex way to look at material culture than an analysis of separate visual objects, and helps to reclaim the potential of  queer iconography. Considering the material nature of queer history, such as paintings, sculptures, photographs, decorations, furnishings, magazines etc., we can localize queer lives and communities in time and space in order to understand the hierarchies in which the queer lives and queer social networks were trapped. Assessing the spatial conditions for performing queerness in the life and work of actors such as Toyen, Jan Zrzavý, Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic, Miloš Havel and Ladislav Fuks, Jackson argues that queer spaces reveal other intersections, such as class, gender, education, cultural capital and political activities that impacted these artists’ expression and sociability. Through the perspective of queer spatiality, therefore, material and cultural production becomes determined by queer ethics, not aesthetics, and thus moves beyond patriarchal and white notions of “high art”.

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