Single lesbian women in Southend

Added: Delaney Dozier - Date: 31.01.2022 01:51 - Views: 19055 - Clicks: 8256

Installation view, Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artists.

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Following the financial crisis, rising living costs in the UK have increasingly pushed people to the edges of urban zones making it harder to come together. The gig economy is busy destroying the division between work time and free time, and unchecked gentrification has ensured small businesses continue to drop like flies. In the space of a decade 58 percent of venues in London closed, a trend repeated in towns and cities elsewhere. Physically dispersed, out of pocket, with fewer places to go other than the Zombieville of social media….

Suffice it to say: phew. Installed in the window of Focal Point Gallery are the drawings Jester 4 and 7 bothtwo rubbings depicting the mischievous figure in a bell-lined suit.

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The artists took the impressions from a mural on the wall of Bar Jester, a gay club in Birmingham that shut in November To make the works they deployed an ancient technique revived among history enthusiasts in the modern era for recording the facades of tombstones. No doubt about it —Jester is an ominous mascot for a species of culture in decline. For while we rightly mourn a way of life facing Armageddon there is no denying its ambivalent legacy. Whether you view this as an uncritical celebration of white patriarchy, or a queering of institutions that have historically excluded and punished homosexuals, one thing is for certain: the gay bar of old has gone down like a lead balloon among proponents of the intersectional, anti-normative, contemporary iteration of queerness.

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Head spinning yet? Perhaps like me you have found yourself asking why there is a burden of expectation placed upon gay venues to please anyone but —well, gay men. And, when one letter of the queer alphabet becomes culturally dominant, it is bound to cause resentments.

In reality the difference in our legal and cultural histories, and our everyday experiences of the world, are often stark—and what counts as desirable or emancipating for some may echo the oppression of others.

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In one poignant scene, filmed between Shoeburyness Fort and a housing development on the site of a former army base, a group of men perform a weary, libidinous line dance. A humorous, almost-tender vignette of camaraderie, it is also a reminder of who feels able to express and conduct their sexuality in public.

With a history stretching back to at least the 17th century in the UK, cruising has long been a necessary release valve in an oppressive climate, a way of circumventing compulsory heterosexuality -which for a great swathe of time the UK insisted men abide by, upon pain of death. In recent years it has also been theorised as an activity with radical potential.

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Add this to the fact than one in five women in the UK have been sexually assaulted, and two in five trans people and three in ten non-binary people have been the victims of hate crime, and you have a pretty compelling argument for why cruising is an activity almost exclusively performed by cis men.

They are the demographic who have historically dominated the streets; who have not, at least to the same extent, had a fear of physical danger and sexual assault inscribed into the bones of their collective identity.

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This focus, however, is precisely the point. The double-pronged assault of homophobia and misogyny has made lesbian visibility both scarce and anxiety-inducing. When we are visible, more often than not we are exploited for the pleasure and profit of others—by the heterosexual porn industry and its global market for sapphic-themed content, or by the music industry, where lesbian-lite videos have spiced up the brands of straight pop stars from Madonna to Selena Gomez. Despite the recent cultural cache attached to queerness, the museum and gallery sector has also largely ignored our history, with the exception of a handful of wealthy modernists.

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In the absence of accessible and meaningful representation, queer women are often left to learn what queer otherness looks like through the lens of male homosexuality. In this way, gay culture has become a part of the lesbian experience —even as it has never exactly offered us a home.

Nobody is making eye contact. In recent years, and to the horror of many, a small of prominent lesbians have used public platforms to spread transphobic messages about who counts as a woman. Added to which is a trend among younger queers to dismiss lesbianism as uncool and obsolete in the age of gender fluidity, recycling old-fashioned homophobia in the name of emancipatory politics.

On display in glass cabinets in the reception area are three graphite drawings —also partially based on works by Mantegna. The drawings depict the exteriors of gay venues, all of Single lesbian women in Southend are either closed already or scheduled for closure before —a sex club named Boltz, Bar Jester, and Core Club.

Quinlan and Hastings have removed the age, and in front of the blank facades small groups of women congregate. The atmosphere is steeped in tension and uncertainty. It is hard to tell if they are play fighting, on the cusp of making out, or are about to start a brawl. In his essay Gay BetrayalsBersani wrote of a tendency to form our identities through conflict.

The desire to belong is increasingly being weaponised by the resurgent right wing, who encourage us to conceive of ourselves as mini-nation states with guarded borders and sworn enemies. How to maintain our differences without excluding others? How to open ourselves up without losing our voices, our definition? How to be visible without being exploited?

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How to lay claim to public space, and occupy the streets? And how, in the face of a political economy that profits from stoking resentments, and selling off our high streets to the highest bidders, do we ensure nobody is coned to the closet or left behind in their room? projects.

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