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This weekend in Edmonton there’s an art opening featuring dirty gay
Polaroids by an internationally renowned artist, a CD release party
featuring Edmonton’s favourite homo drummer/filmmaker, a
multidisciplinary salon with new work from both the aforementioned
drummer/filmmaker and a queer lady printmaker, a collective arts and crafts
event and a queer karaoke party!

 

And to think less than a decade ago Bill Smith, the former mayor of
Edmonton, wouldn’t grant permission for the Pride Parade!

 

Starting on Friday night, the Art Gallery of Alberta will be presenting
“POLAROIDS: Attila Richard Lukacs and Michael Morris.” The show
is made up of over 3000 Polaroids that have informed Alberta-born
Lukascs’s highly charged grand paintings over the last 20 years. Rich
with politics, insight and flesh, the Polaroids not only afford an
opportunity to get into the mind of a complex and fascinating artist but
also cover two decades of the queer male experience. From safe sex pioneer
Richard Berkowitz to Robert Mapplethorpe to Andy Warhol, Polaroids have
always played a vital role in empowering queer males to be image makers,
representing for themselves what they could not find elsewhere. It’s
interesting to see this show at the moment Polaroid is dying a slow death
as images of gay men have become commodified and accessible. Both Luckas
and Morris—an artist who responded to the enormity of Lukacs‘s
Polaroid collection by organizing them into inviting grids—will be in
attendance.

 

The party continues later that night at the ARTery for the Wet
Secrets’ single CD release dance party. Aside from launching a new
single, the gig is also serving as a fundraiser for the band’s
upcoming trip to the music and film festival SXSW (South by Southwest) in
Austin, Texas. Trevor Anderson, an unflinching Edmonton advocate, will be
beating the night away as the band’s drummer. Anderson is also a
filmmaker whose work is often about contemporary queer life set in
Edmonton, and who’s most recent short film, “The Island,”
will be showing as part of the FAVA Freshworks screening on Thursday night
at Metro Cinema. 

 

Returning to the ARTery the next night Anderson will be performing a
monologue as part of Mile Zero Dance’s salon series that will be
ultimately become the frame for his next short film. Entitled “A High
Note,” Anderson says that the film will explore his
“relationship to my great-uncle, Alberta, theatre and theatricality,
sex and sexuality, addiction and Miss Judy Garland.”

 

This is MZD’s 13th salon, and will feature a variety of work from
dance to spoken word to visual art that loosely responds to the theme of
spring back. Imagining her own rites of spring, printmaker Anthea Black
will be blanketing a section of the ARTery in wallpaper she has created
that explores debauchery, the sacrificing of virgins and all the other good
stuff that comes when the snow melts.  Black showed similar work but
with the theme of BDSM at the Bathhouse event that was part of last
November’s Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture
Festival.

 

Johannes Zits, a Toronto-based multimedia artist who was a featured artist
during Exposure’s first year, will be back in Edmonton and back at
Latitude 53 with installation and drawing artist Ed Pien for Wet and Paste,
a collaborative drawing and collage event that the gallery will be hosting
the same night as the salon. Zits’s work often focuses on the queer
male body and how it is used to evoke expression and impressions. With lots
of space, provided supplies and a male nude model the evening promises to
be full of inspiration and interaction. 

 

If, after you’ve hit both the Salon and the gallery, you are looking
to keep the night alive, Dance Dance Queer Revolution is putting on a
fundraiser for and at Circles. The alternative venue has been home to all
of Dance Dance Queer Revolution events so far. From underground activists
to same-sex-humping hipsters to gender-bending performance artists like
event host Antonio Bavaro, Circles brings together the full spectrum of
Edmonton’s queer community.

If this has seemed more like an events listings than a column—in
part it’s because it is. But more importantly it is a snapshot of one
weekend in a supposedly redneck Prairie city early in the 21st century. While
there is still far to go in terms of ensuring equality for all, sometimes
part of moving forward is acknowledging how far you have come—something
to think about as you move your clocks ahead. V 

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