Eric Peter, Familiar Strangers: Conversations on the Near Future (2015-17)

The project Familiar Strangers: Conversations on the Near Future explores, through conversations with people of a multitude of backgrounds and geolocations, a narrative which is anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal. It challenges preconceptions inherited through history (“his story”) on a being in the world. Ram, in the twelfth chapter of this project, is an artist and LGBTQIA+ activist from the island of Mindanao, Philippines. Thinking about the divinity which trans women, men and people in many different cultures worldwide once had, Ram guides us through thoughts around divinity, bias and gender.

Megan Arnold, ELFQUEST (2019)

Using amateur internet video styles, ELFQUEST investigates the performance of queerness through Icelandic folklore and landscape. Queer-focused fear is addressed in each video through motifs of hunting (as in fairyhunter), being “bad” (as in Kiki x Kiki x the Yule Lads), and monstrosity (as in The Creature From the Blue Lagoon).

Paul Anagnostopoulos, We Can Be Us (2019)

“My work is an exploration of mythological desire and queer melancholy. I convey grandiose narratives through images of the Hero. The use of this archetype, the idealized form of strength and beauty, highlights the impossibility of attaining otherworldly levels of perfection. My figures are lifted from ancient art, gay erotica, and wrestling competitions. These hyper masculine images are manipulated to appear sensitive and emotive. Vulnerability and melancholia reveal a more human side of these otherwise all-powerful godly bodies.”

Paul Anagnostopoulos, Nothing Will Keep Us Together (2019)

“The paintings subvert the Western disaffinity towards homosexuality by celebrating queer intimacy and a tender masculinity. I reinterpret ancient images and unite them with visual material created between the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the peak of the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By combining these eras, I encourage the viewer to meditate on queer history and focus on a neglected perspective. Each painting serves as a memorial to the members of these lost generations. My work is the product of a cathartic process, layered with personal anecdotes regarding loss and rejection. I dissect various systems and histories in order to honor queer intimacy, history, and life.”

Paul Anagnostopoulos, This Empty Space You Left Behind (2019)

“Through these acrylic and oil paintings, I construct inaccessible portals to an idyllic paradise. The squares, lines, and complex layers deliberately eliminate parts of the landscape as if representing an unclear memory. Paradise, Elysian Fields, and Eden are all sanctuaries for the perfect human- only the best of the best are awarded a blissful eternity. Gradients act as surrogates for tropical settings, sunsets, and seascapes. They serve as postcards from a journey that may or may not have been experienced.”

Albert Bonay, Revisiones (2013-2014)

Revisiones is a project exploring the vulnerability and power of paintings as “documents.” By creating a group of digital collages and using seminal paintings as a background or scenario, I aim to review canonical Western perspectives.

My work is an accumulation of materials found indexed on the internet whilst searching for specific concepts. Google Images is a continuously changing archive whose content hierarchy is based on what people consider more representative of an idea. This particular ephemeral quality of the search engine offers the possibility of recreating infinite variations.

Concha García de la Fuente, Saint Inquisition (2019-2020)

In this particular piece, Concha appropriates the connotations of the figure of the Inquisition to materialise the rejection or discrimination that can be received by simply showing diversity of ideologies or sexual inclinations. Relying on the figure of the inmate or victim.

Jorge Bascuñan, Hercules (left), Shield (centre), The Comfort You Seek (right) [2020]

The triptych is inspired by Robin DiAngelo’s text ‘white fragility.’ Sexuality taboos, personal questions of the artist and appropriating images together aim to reshape the symbolic aspects of the research. The metaphors used imply a concern with the political power that covers the social struggles of contemporary society, such as the demands of capitalism, racism, patriarchy, and sexuality. Visual references to masturbation and penetration contrast with the danger of living in an environment that protects and insulates us from racial stress. We are encouraged to seek comfort and pretend nothing is wrong.

Dasha Che, A Monument to Shitty Affects of Now (centre), an ode to a weak body and shitty affects (right and left) [2020]

“A queer dance artist and a lonely human, I orient myself around meta-discourses of current times while battling with my own mental instability and personal, economic and social precarity in a foreign country. I am tired and scared. Tired and scared to remain invisible in my struggles, while being terrified that my affects are too shitty and whiny and take too much space. As we are moving into the third month of self-isolation, my body loses its ability to present itself in a dance rigour; it fails to move through space, it turns into an object, a monument to the shitty affects of now. I explore in/visibility by documenting myself in weak and nonsensical body and mind postures of a human object who is somewhat unsure of their existence, unable to straighten up, perform expected sociality, confused in private and public spaces of a pandemic-ridden city.”

Estefania Arriaza, Ausencia Espontanea [Spontaneous Absence] (2019)

Ausencia Espontanea (Spontaneous Absence) became an intentional memorial to many people. When I initially took under the project, I envisioned it to be a memorial for nature, the scars from the landslide were so profoundly indented unto the mountain and the rocks that the only witnesses left were resting at the bottom of it, underneath what used to be called a river.

Festival Programme: Estefania Arriaza presents “Spontaneous Absence: The Politicisation of Landscapes” from June 21st on TQAF’s Facebook and Instagram 

Fran Ansalas & Estefanía Arriaza, Sincronismo (2020) 

“A man from the town of Neguá, on the coast of Colombia, was able to climb to the high heaven. On the return he counted. He said he had contemplated human life from above.

And he said that we are a sea of fires. “The world is that,” he revealed, “a lot of people, a sea of fires. Each person shines with his own light among all the others.

There are not two equal fires. There are big fires and small fires and fires of all colors. There are people with serene fire, who don’t even know about the wind, and people with crazy fire that fill the air with sparks. Some fires, foolish fires, do not light or burn; but others burn life with so much passion that you cannot look at them without blinking, and whoever comes closer lights up.”

– Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces

Sincronismo is an experimental, poetic intersection between anthropology, the sacred and its rituals, alchemy, and devotion to Nature. Estefania and Fran met in a sculpture workshop in Guatemala, and though Fran moved back to Argentina, they kept in touch and continued to exchange ideas and worked together amidst the pandemic. In this project, they expand on the themes of interconnectivity by juxtaposing it with disconnection, and question the abstractness of time and space based on the concerning environments surrounding them. Their mutual interest in firing methods and ceramics, and the act of barrel firing specifically, led to the development of this project and the establishment of two points of connection in Latin America. Two sacred points where they started a fire at the same time and congregated around the act of burning pieces of pottery and sharing the magic. The physicality of the fire is reminiscent not only of the moving force that connects us all, but also is an homage to Mayan culture.

“For weeks, we gathered materials and information, and we started saving our organic scraps for the fire; mostly fruit peels, coffee and vegetables, which symbolised the never-ending cycle of life. Fire, such a vital force for human existence, we found incredibly meaningful during these times. Fire gives us hope.”

Navot Miller, Real Caliper Jew (2019) [left] & pre early early 2018, on a rooftop (2018) [right]

“I like to work with topics such as religion, architecture and identity, presenting my ideas through drawing, filming and painting with an appreciation for symmetry and vibrant colour. My images depict landscapes and social scenarios in locations I visit through traveling. As my main mediums are video and painting, the works I create are envisioned as multilayered collages of aspects of my life as an individual and as the life of others too.”

Ehab Aziz, Farewell letter of a Syrian refugee before sinking in the Mediterranean sea (2018)

“If fear were mixed with many emotions such as love, remorse and farewell, in an opportunity to speak, it would have spoken these words! Indeed, few words have profound meanings that one can use to think about changing ornamental reality. Fear is how the instinct for self-preservation and survival is most commonly realised. I‘m sorry I drowned … Those words reveal a lot of falsehood in our political and religious life to alert the world of coming dangers. Without fear, positive change is not possible.”