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Lacnroms, an unbecoming, by artist-collective All the Cunning Stunts, is an installation piece that explores the possibilities of re-appropriating commercial LGBT imagery. The work consists of a vinyl print extending across an entire gallery wall displaying queer-related images overlaid with text. To the far right, the vinyl print is partially illuminated by red, green, yellow and blue spotlights. A series of hanging cut-outs of hands making a raised 'binocular' gesture are suspended in front of the vinyl wall, inviting audiences to look through them in playful participation of the work.

The artists have used normalized images of LGBT individuals, activities performed by gay couples, etc. found on the internet. In particular, images from Queerstock with watermarks are included. These images are assembled in overlapping photoshopped computer windows alongside more DIY, queer community-generated images. The work is further overlaid with objects and text that reinforce the piece's digital/internet aesthetic. Similarly, the cardboard cut-outs underscore this aesthetic as pixelated prints, suspended by ethernet cables.

The work rejects the normalization of queer imagery, particularly for its commercial use and as a tactic in market segmentation. By re-incorporating authentic, queer-based imagery, images from Queerstock (and other commercial sources) are re-introduced into a genuine dialogue on identity. The artists underline the online and networked aspects of queer identity. Internet aesthetics reinforce the web as the source of queer imagery that incorporate remixing, collaging, and photoshopping in the ongoing evolution of LGBT visual language. In addition, the cut-outs invite the audience to participate, as they would in a networked dialogue, affording the audience the opportunity to rethink their own identities as they look back out through new hands and bodies.

Lacnroms, an unbecoming is included in TENT’s exhibition Among other things, I’ve taken up smoking. Like the other works in this exhibition, Lacnroms explores idealised and defined notions of queer identity. These works reinterpret, question, or reject the inherited or prescribed visual language applied to the LGBT community. They reject a static definition in favour of a constantly evolving, community-generated language of representation. Lacnroms extends the exhibition’s affirmation of intersectionality and the difficulties of distilling complex identities into images and symbols. Many of the other works similarly reject or re-appropriate socially accepted gender and sexual constructs. Lacnroms further takes up a common thread found in many of the exhibition’s works, articulating a visual language shaped by contemporary digital culture. The installation situates LGBT identity as one that is intimately shaped by online communities, where individual identities are informed, as well as contribute to, unoppressive online spaces.

Oct 4 Notes