Sites of Love and Fascination (2017) investigates shifts in language and methods of gathering within the queer community, specifically relating to the loss of the lesbian bar and the rise of nomadic parties and online hookup culture. The bathrooms within the last four lesbian bars in New York City (Ginger's, Henrietta Hudson, Cubbyhole and Bum Bum Bar) offer a lens through which to consider these changes. How has the reclaiming of "queer" and momentum in trans-rights advocacy impacted the need for identity categorization and gender specific gathering spaces? In what ways do other aspects of identity, such as race and class, play into decisions made around gathering? Do the bathrooms still function as a safe place for first sexual encounters now that sating apps are so common? I am interested in how the movement away from fixed places (such as the lesbian bar) has fueled a return to LGBTQ histories by artists, archivists, activists and historians. Especially following the recent passing of marriage equality and gender-neutral bathroom laws in NYC alongside the devastating massacre at Pulse Nightclub last summer and the election of the Trump administration this November, I have become more aware than ever before that acts of celebration and mourning often occur at the same time for the LGBTQ community. For so many of us bars and nightlife continue to foster a stable sense of freedom and belonging through experiences of collective trauma and joy.
Sites of Love and Fascination (2017) has been presented as both a site for performance and gesture choreographed in collaboration with Oceane Hooks-Camilleri as well as a sculptural installation with audio from oral history interviews I conducted.