Somerset House Studios will screen Queertopia, a series of artist films curated by Gemma Rolls-Bentley, next week.
The hotly anticipated series features a host of London and New York artists, including Holly Blakey, Rindon Johnson, Zoe Marden, Rashaad Newsome, Hannah Quinlan + Rosie Hastings, Jacolby Satterwhite and Puck Verkade who all aim to tell distinct stories that reflect queer culture. Working in collaboration with Pride London and Daata (a platform for exhibiting digital artworks), Queertopia celebrates thrilling work from what Rolls-Bentley calls “the visionaries of queer culture”.
The series includes Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings’ UK Gaybar Directory which amplifies the empty husks of the UK’s last remaining gaybars, the ornate baroque backdrops of Rashaad Newsome’s Knot, underwater explorations in Zoe Marden’s Little Lo Ting, Rindon Johnson’s I First You both and Sim-like reproductions of Kim Kardashian in Puck Verkade’s Breeder.
Speaking to It’s Nice That on the six month process of compiling the work for Queertopia, curator Rolls-Bentley says, “I believe that art has the power to tell stories, bridge gaps and imagine new future possibilities. As a queer woman I feel that it is my responsibility to acknowledge, understand and honour the history of the queer community and the challenges that continue to face our siblings around the world. We need to look back in order to look forwards, to progress, to support our global community”.
“However, those histories are not easily accessible, our ancestors were silenced and it takes work to uncover their stories, even those from very recent history. The group of artists included in Queertopia have embarked on a journey to excavate those experiences, memorialise the spaces in which they occurred and imagine new landscapes within which our future can be mapped out and our legacy will be celebrated”.
The work can be acquired as digital downloads through Daata Editions and Queertopia will be screened on July 3 at Somerset House 7pm-8.30pm.