Monday, March 16, 7:30 pm
Presentation House Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
Presentation House Gallery is pleased to present a lecture by Jonathan D. Katz in conjunction with the exhibition We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996). The exhibition will be introduced by exhibition co-curator Barbara Fischer.
The prolific American poet Allen Ginsberg, whose unabashedly expressive and controversial poetry revolutionised twentieth-century literature, took thousands of photographs throughout his life as he documented his travels, influences and the group of raucous young literati who would be remembered as the Beat Generation. Nearly 200 of these images are presently on display at Presentation House Gallery.
In this lecture Jonathan Katz places Ginsberg in a long tradition of anti-gay queers, situating him in a socio-political and art context, including references to the Toronto art collective General Idea. He will discuss Allen Ginsberg’s deeply homoerotic work as self-contradictory until the advent of a queer politics underscored the strategic benefit in a refusal of gayness.
Jonathan D. Katz is an activist, art historian, curator and writer, whose work concerns the transecting histories of art and queer culture. He is the founder of the Harvey Milk Institute and the former executive coordinator of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University. Presently, Katz is the director of the doctoral program in Visual Culture Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Katz co-curated the exhibitions Hide/Seek: Difference, Desire, and the Invention of Modern American Portraiture (2010-11) at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Aids/Art/America (2012-2013), which toured internationally. He is working on a book about Eros and Art of the 1960s and 70s that he will discuss at Presentation House Gallery’s Counterculture Forum on March 15.
Barbara Fischer is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, as well as Director of the Curatorial Studies program at the University of Toronto. She co-curated the Ginsberg exhibition with John Shoesmith for the University of Toronto Art Centre. She has organised major exhibitions across Canada and internationally, including co-curating Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980. Fischer is the recipient of the 2008 Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art.