Different from other LGBTQ-themed exhibitions that emphasise the pride and visibility of sexual minorities, Retrograde raises questions on the costs of the contemporary move to the mainstream in lesbian and gay culture
The LGBTQ-themed group exhibition, Retrograde, is now open to the public until the 13th of August. Curated by Cusson Cheng, eleven local and international contemporary artists from eight nationalities and currently reside in seven countries participate in the exhibition, with more than half debuting in Asia.
Unlike other LGBTQ-themed exhibitions that emphasise the pride and visibility of sexual minorities, Retrograde raises questions on the costs of the recent move to the mainstream in lesbian and gay culture. The exhibition contests the dominant heteronormative logic of desire and the homogeneous models of gay modern identities. Instead, it proposes alternative ways of thinking that allow one to reimagine queer histories, subjectivities, and futures radically.
Inspired by astrology, the exhibition title references the retrograde motion of planets, which represents an exception or even a challenge to the sense of normalcy. Such planets depart from the main highway altogether – seekers or explorers who travel the celestial byways in search of something not available on the main highway.
Similarly, the participating artists identify and comprehend the underlying concerns of queer modernity, envision queer subjectivities beyond the grand narrative, and regard “queer” as a melting pot of poststructural, postmodern, postcolonial, and “postpatriarchal” methodologies to truly “queer” the queer.
Cusson Cheng, the curator of Retrograde, said, “It is a sheer pleasure to be invited by Galerie du Monde to curate a group exhibition that revolves around the notion of queerness and sexual politics. Such debates and discourses are now more significant than ever; they allow us to discern, critique and navigate ideological and systematic binaries.
Through understanding queerness, viewers can rethink our approach to dealing with historical injuries, our relation with the construction of subjecthood, and our ways of imagining a genuinely equal and liberal future. This is the first time the gallery collaborates with ten new artists outside of their program, with more than half showing works that have never been seen before in Hong Kong and Asia.”
Participating artists include Ivana Bašić, Jes Fan, Dew Kim, Green Mok, Naraphat Sakarthornsap, Tseng Chien-Ying, Floryan Varennes, Luis Xertu, Xu Guanyu, Rachel Youn, Stella Zhang.