School 33 Art Center
Rauschenberg

Exhibits

Aaron McIntosh: Invasive Queer Kudzu: Baltimore

05/11/2018 - 06/23/2018
Aaron McIntosh: Invasive Queer Kudzu: Baltimore Aaron McIntosh
Invasive Queer Kudzu: Baltimore
Main Gallery
On view from May 11 - June 23, 2018
Free opening reception on Friday, May 18, 6-9pm.

At the intersection of quilt-making, storytelling, archiving, and social practice, the Invasive Queer Kudzu project generates leafy, quilted fabric vines adorned with stories that celebrate and make visible Southern queer culture from the past to the present day. Working with LGBTQ+ contributors and archives such as the Gay and Lesbian Center of Baltimore (GLCCB), the project uses kudzu—a fast-growing, climbing, coiling, and trailing perennial—as a slippery metaphor. It invades dominant Southern narratives, reclaiming the ‘monstrous’ vine as a symbol for Southern queer tenacity in the face of homophobic institutions that otherwise obscure our rich histories.

This participatory exhibition features several monuments of the South, both historic and imagined, in the process of being invaded and reclaimed by Invasive Queer Kudzu stories. The gay nightclub serves as retrospective site of revelry, camaraderie, and tragedy in the works Invasive: Pulse Memorial and Invasive: Club Hippo. In the latter work, a scale replica of Baltimore’s erstwhile Club Hippo celebrates one of the country’s oldest continuously-operating gay dance clubs, which is now a CVS in Mount Vernon—a predominantly gay neighborhood which in recent years has faced the closure of many queer gathering spaces.

A series of Saturday Queer Quilting Bees open to the LGBTQ+ community and allies will encourage participants to contribute to the creation of story leaves to be added to the growing installation during the run of the exhibition.