<p>Karol Radziszewski, <em>Selfportrait as a Fag Fighter </em>(2007), courtesy of the artist</p>
<p>Karol Radziszewski, <em>Selfportrait as a Fag Fighter </em>(2007), courtesy of the artist</p>

No. 5: Queer Images

Managing editors: Iwona Kurz, Magda Szcześniak

Karol Radziszewski, Selfportrait as a Fag Fighter (2007), courtesy of the artist

This issue is an outcome of the research project “Visual Culture in Poland: Languages, Terms, Metapictures” funded by the National Science Centre (DEC-2012/05/B/HS2/03985).

It was co-supported by the Rector of the University of Warsaw and the Dean of the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw and the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Queer Images

    ”Queer Images”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/queer-images

    Introduction to issue 1(5)/2014 of the journal.

Close-up

  1. Blending In and Standing Out - Camouflage and Masking as Queer Tactics of Negotiating Visibility

    Magda Szcześniak, ”Blending In and Standing Out - Camouflage and Masking as Queer...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/blending-in-and-standing-out-camouflage-and-masking-as-queer

    The article considers camouflage and masking as tactics of queering the dominant regime of visibility. Departing from queer critiques of visibility voiced by such theoreticians as Peggy Phelan, Lee Edelman, Rosemary Hennessy, and Hito Steyerl, the author poses the question of what would it mean to queer visibility in a way which wouldn't force queer subjects to return to previously occupied sites of social invisibility. The answer is offered through the analysis of works by Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Zach Blas, and Karol Radziszewski.

  2. Just Like Heaven: Queer Utopian Art and the Aesthetic Dimension

    José Esteban Muñoz, ”Just Like Heaven: Queer Utopian Art and the Aesthetic Dimension”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/jak-w-niebie.-queerowa-sztuka-utopijna-i-wymiar-estetyczny

    Polish translation of chapter eight of José Esteban Muñoz's Cruising Utopia. The Then and There of Queer Futurity (London-New York: New York University Press, 2009), 131–147.

  3. Images in Torment

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”Images in Torment”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/meki-obrazow

    The article starts with an analysis of theories of visual culture that assign power to images – power that allows images to rule over people as well as act on their own. The main statement of the first part is that theories of the powerful image (Freedberg or Belting) relate only to selected images. For this reason the author proposes to rethink the weakness of (most) images – their powerless condition and poor position in the hierarchy of beings. Drawing on W.J.T. Mitchell's and Hito Steyerl's arguments, the essay not only theoretically but also analytically engages in the investigation of weak images, especially in contemporary Poland.

  4. The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation

    Hito Steyerl, ”The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/spam-ziemi.-o-wycofaniu-sie-z-reprezentacji

    Polish translation of Hito Steyerl's "The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation," first published in e-flux 2012:2.

  5. Denaturalisation

    Katarzyna Czeczot, ”Denaturalisation”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/wynaturzenie

    The essay departs from a single frame from Ken Russel's Valentino (1977) – the head of the idol surrounded by white camellias. This image, which in an ironical tone plays with the ophelic tradition, is analysed from two perspectives. The first one is set by Valentino's biography, a story of non-hegemonic masculinity, which enables reflection on the ways gender is naturalised. The second frame of the article is provided by an analysis of represenations of flowers, which lead to an examination of the way nature is naturalized (a crucial trope in representations of Ophelia). Drawing from varied sources (biography, poetry, botanics), the author points to the limits of every analysis, which seeks to draw a strong line between nature and culture. This game of simultaneous delineation and erasure is visible in the title word: denaturalisation.

  6. The Sultan Queer

    Justyna Jaworska, ”The Sultan Queer”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/klir-sultanski

    The article provides an analysis of a few scenes from the TV movie Dziewczyny do wzięcia (Girls Ready to be Taken, 1972) by Janusz Kondratiuk. The author examines the visual material as examples of a "weak image", a category inspired by Vattimo's "weak thought" but transferred into the visual context. A "weak image" is situated on the periphery of dominant "strong images". It represents all that is culturally defined as worse or excluded (sometimes funny, and sometimes abject or provoking empathy) – and as such it bursts the norm similarly to queer strategies.

    Yet if Kondratiuk’s film can be viewed as reflecting a certain non-normativity, it is not about gender, but class issues. The film is a commentary on the aspirations of provincial girls and workers to the metropolitan lifestyle of the intelligentsia. The author interprets the film as an image, which questions certain class norms and produces images that might be called queer (or, in Polish, ‘kłir’) ones. On the wider plane, the article is an attempt to diagnose Polish culture of the early 1970's, especially the clash of the "propaganda of success" and images of luxury with poor performances of elegance. The key phrase here is “deficient quality”, which links mediocrity with aspirations.

  7. Picturing Queer Desire in the Vernon Manuscript

    Angela R. Bennett Segler, ”Picturing Queer Desire in the Vernon Manuscript”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/picturing-queer-desire-in-the-vernon-manuscript

    This article examines an anomalous miniature that depicts two monks in bed attached to a Middle English Miracle of the Virgin about a priest who had sex with a nun. In it, I examine the historical context of the manuscript’s production and readership to understand the queer and heretical potential the unorthodox image creates in the Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Eng. poet. a.1. I argue that its non-heterosexist depiction of homosexual desire opens previously orthodox and heterosexual encounters to queer readings.

  8. Queering Eurovision. Sixteen Years after Coming Out

    Marcin Bogucki, ”Queering Eurovision. Sixteen Years after Coming Out”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/queerowanie-eurowizji.-szesnascie-lat-po-wyoutowaniu

    The goal of the article is the analysis of the Eurovision show as a soft power tool of the European Union. The author concentrates on the examination of the history of performances of representatives of sexual minorities in the Eurovision and asks about the political consequences of such peroformances. Asking about the sexual identity of the Eurovision contest itself, the author tests the usefulness of such analytic tools as camp abnd kitsch. The article also examines strategies of performers identifying as non-normative and the relation of sexual identity and representation. One of the analyzed performances is that of the 2014 winner of the Eurovision contest – Conchita Wurst.

Panorama

  1. Paranoid Reading and Reperative Reading, or, You're So Paranoid You Probably Think This Essay is About You

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, ”Paranoid Reading and Reperative Reading”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/czytanie-paranoiczne-czytanie-reparacyjne

    The Polish translation of the fourth chapter from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's Touching, Feeling. Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 123-253.

  2. Deleuze, Guattari and Queer Cinema

    Małgorzata Radkiewicz, ”Deleuze, Guattari and Queer Cinema”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/deleuze-guattari-i-kino-queer

    The article is a reconstruction of possible relations and interdependences between the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, queer theory and the practice of cinema.

  3. On the Possibility and Impossibility of Modernist Cinema: Peter Forgács' "Own Death"

    Ernst van Alphen, ”On the Possibility and Impossibility of Modernist Cinema”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/o-mozliwosci-i-niemozliwosci-modernistycznego-kina

    The text is an attempt to analyze the film Own Death (Sajat halal, 2008) by Peter Forgács in the perspective of the possible definitions and versions of cinematographic modernism.

  4. Liaison Officers, Imagined Love and War Affairs, and History Displaced

    Katarzyna Bojarska, ”Liaison Officers, Imagined Love and War Affairs, and History Displaced”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/liaison-officers-imagined-love-and-war-affairs-and-history-displaced

    The article is a critical discussion of a collaborative project of a writer, Darek Foksa, and an artist, Zbigiew Libera. The project Liaison Officer provides a critique of history and its interpretations carried out through a unique and intriguing combination of word and image. History is understood here as an ideologically saturated dominant fiction. The author of the article argues that this piece belongs to a tradition whose potential as a critical tool in understanding the meanders and politics of memory is yet to be (re)discovered. Both visual and literary practices here seem to contribute to a reactivation of social imagination.

  5. The Ballerina and the Blue Bra: Femininity in Recent Revolutionary Iconography

    Agata Lisiak, ”Women in Recent Revolutionary Iconography”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/women-in-recent-revolutionary-iconography

    The uprisings and protest movements of 2011 (the so-called Arab Spring, indignados, Occupy Wall Street, etc.) have been widely considered groundbreaking because of their leaderless structures. Owing to the absence of unequivocally leading figures, the symbolic and practical role of urban space has been emphasized in popular media and scholarship alike. Next to the widely circulated and discussed images of Tahrir Square, Puerta del Sol, and Zucotti Park, however, another type of image has been prevalent, that of a revolutionary woman. In response to W.J.T. Mitchell's article "Image, Space, Revolution: The Arts of Occupation" (2012), the author argues that the reasons for the focus of recent revolutionary imagery on women cannot be reduced to the allegedly feminine character of nonviolence, but are much more complex and entail far-reaching consequences. Lisiak engages with two images Mitchell quotes as iconic of the 2011 revolutions – the ballerina from the Occupy Wall Street poster and the "blue bra girl" beaten and disrobed by the military police in Tahrir Square – and discuss their cultural and historical significance. These two images represent two major tropes prevalent in revolutionary iconography: woman as a symbol of revolutionary ideals and woman as a symbol of the failure of revolution. Further, the author proposes that revolutionary images centered on women, both real-life and fictional, belong to what Ariella Azoulay calls the "language of revolution".

Perspectives

  1. Body as an Archive

    Karol Radziszewski, Dorota Sajewska, ”Body as an Archive”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/cialo-jako-archiwum

    Conversation about the project Prince made together by Dorota Sajewska and Karol Radziszewski as "RE//MIX Jerzy Grotowski" in December 2013 in Komuna Warszawa in the framework of cycle curated by Tomasz Plata.

  2. One Man and One Woman, or Too Many Characters in a Conversation

    Roee Rosen, Katarzyna Bojarska, ”One Man and One Woman, or Too Many Characters in a Conversation”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/one-man-and-one-woman-or-too-many-characters-in-a-conversation

    A conversation between Roee Rosen and Katarzyna Bojarska about the artists oeuvre, his female porte-paroles and his playing with history and art historical genres.

Viewpoint

  1. Graphics Interchange Format

    Iwona Kurz, ”Graphics Interchange Format”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/graphics-interchange-format

    Visual Essay around the topic of the animated GIF.

  2. Graphics Interchange Format

    Iwona Kurz, ”Graphics Interchange Format”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/kopia-graphics-interchange-format

    Autorka podejmuje próbę opisu animowanego GIF-a jako działania artystycznego o queerowym potencjale, zwłaszcza w odniesieniu do wymiaru czasu. Towarzyszy temu prezentacja w "Punkcie widokowym" kuratorowanej kolekcji GIF-ów.

  3. Nightflight to Venus

    Maurycy Gomulicki, ”Nightflight to Venus”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/duplicate-nightflight-to-venus

    Presentation of Maurycy Gomulicki's Nightflight to Venus

  4. This Isn't (Exactly) Queer

    Agnieszka Szewczyk, ” This Isn't (Exactly) Queer”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/this-isnt-exactly-queer

    An essay accompanying the visual presentation of Maurycy Gomulicki's "Night Flight to Venus" in "View" 2014, no 5.

  5. What Happened Will Not Unhappen

    Irena Kalicka, ”What Happened Will Not Unhappen”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/what-happened-will-not-unhappen

    A presentation of Irena Kalicka's What Happened Will Not Unhappen

  6. Playing Tricks

    Krzysztof Pijarski, ”Tricks”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2014/5-queer-images/tricks

    An essay on Irena Kalicka's work What Happened Will Not Unhappen.

Snapshots

  1. From a Book Closet. Queer translations and transcriptions

    Iwona Kurz, ”From a Book Closet. Queer translations and transcriptions”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/z-bibliotecznej-szafy.-przeklady-i-przepisania-queer

    Commentary on Polish academic discussion on camp and queer theory, based on recent publications:

    Sebastian Jagielski, Maskarady męskości. Pragnienie homospołeczne w polskim kinie fabularnym (Masquerades of manliness. Homosocial desire in Poiish fiction film, 2013);

    Kamp. Antologia przekładów, ed. Przemysław Czapliński, Anna Mizerka (Camp. Anthology of translations, 2012);

    Samuel Nowak, Seksualny kapitał. Wyobrażone wspólnoty smaku i medialne tożsamości polskich gejów (Sexual Capital. Imagines Communities of Taste and Media Identities of Polish Gays, 2013);

    Małgorzata Radkiewcz, Oblicza kina queer (Faces of Queer Cinema, 2013);

    Teorie wywrotowe. Antologia przekładów, ed. Agnieszka Gajewska (Subversive Theories. Anthology of translations, 2012);

    Błażej Warkocki, Różowy język. Literatura i polityka kultury na początku wieku (Pink Tongue. Literature and politics of culture in the beginning of the century, 2013).

  2. Shreds of Images in Crisis

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”Shreds of Images in Crisis”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/strzepy-obrazow-w-kryzysie.-dokumentalnosc-sztuki-wedlug-t.j.demosa

    Review of two recent books by T.J. Demos: The Migrant Image (Durham 2013) and Return to the Postcolony (Berlin 2013).

  3. Mi(c)ro(ph)n(e) Białoszewski

    Adam Repucha, ”Mi(c)ro(ph)n(e) Białoszewski”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/mikrofon-bialoszewski

    A review of the CD collection Białoszewski do słuchu (Listening to Białoszewski, BôłtRecords, BR R001–004, Warszawa 2013).

  4. The Space of Reflection and the Place of the Object in Art History. The Gallery of Medieval Art in the National Museum in Warsaw

    Ika Matyjaszkiewicz, ”The Space of Reflection and the Place of the Object in Art History.”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 5 (2014), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2014/5-queer-obrazy/przestrzen-refleksji-a-miejsce-przedmiotu-w-historii-sztuki

    A review of the newly arranged Gallery of Medieval Art in the National Museum in Warsaw.