COVID-COLLAGES presented three series of work made since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting as a need to momentarily escape digital interactions and connect with something physical, the collage series progressed over the course of the pandemic tracking and tracing the artist’s experiences. Organised by queerANarchive, a selection of works from CC.2020, lite / life and You into kissing too? were exhibited at Culture Hub Croatia from 3-6 September as part of Qfest 2021.[+]
COVID-19 reinventions of queers (Text by Tonči Kranjčević Batalić, queerANarchive)
Queer lives are founded on a practice, even a ‘politics,’ of friendship, on the necessity of making contacts, meeting people who could be friends, and slowly building a circle of chosen relationships. Despite the increased presence of social networks and dating applications in queer lives in recent years, these contacts and meetings still happen in pubs, bars, clubs, saunas, and other queer social events, where we mirror ourselves in others and thus find self-affirmation. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown politics harshly deprived us of fisical contacts and isolated us from our friends and lovers, our extended families. Leaving us only with online communication for keeping up the friendships and relationships, and finding much needed self-affirmation. It is not a surprise that in this situation of forced and intensified online comunication Callum Leo Hughes turns to materiality of collages to find his way in new life circumstances that we have all experienced. Through found images and their new constelations, his collages follow the reinventions of queer identities from the first lockdowns to current reopenings. Thus becoming an important document of contemporary queer lives, our social politics and dating practices.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 56 page A5 self published book of the same name containing images from the three collage series.