In the politically and socially polarized atmosphere of the late 1980s and 90s—fueled by the conservative mandates of the Reagan Administration and the era’s culture wars—feminist, anti-racist, and queer performance artists achieved a newfound voice and influence. Queer sexualities, subversive sex, and the experiences of artists of color were central to the work of artists like Ron Athey, Karen Finley, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Bill T. Jones, Patrick Scully, and the lesbian theater group Split Britches. These artists, amongst others, found institutional support at the Walker Art Center, which championed their experimental and often politically risky work. A Different Kind of Intimacy explores how artists performed attachment, both romantic and political, and features ephemera, video, and photographs, inviting viewers to reflect upon the aesthetic and political turbulence of the period.
Changing installations in the Best Buy Aperture highlight materials from the Walker Collections and Archives & Library. A Different Kind of Intimacy opens February 22, 2018.
Curator: Gwyneth Shanks