paperback, 304 pages, 5 x 7 "
Publication Date: 2016
A book-length essay that explores landscapes surrounding the practice of categorizing "queer art."
In The Estrangement Principle Ariel Goldberg unravels the problematic label, “queer art” by consistently arguing for a wider range of associations with art made by queer identified people. Goldberg invokes the lives and works of writer Renee Gladman, and artists Jack Waters and Peter Cramer, among many others to bring the complexity of the communities and relationships behind art and literary histories into focus. This book-length essay mixes cultural criticism, close readings, and personal anecdotes, all the while developing a deftly wrought polemic. The Estrangement Principle is an exercise in contradiction with its ultimate goal being to resist the practice of movement naming.
“I began collecting the phrase ‘queer art’ in all its sweaty megaphone pronouncements. I felt pricked by ‘queer art,’ which I heard being uttered all around me in the titles of group shows, dance parties, anthologies, mission statements, press releases. I was also collecting palpable silences around events that could have used the word ‘queer,’ but didn’t. I had to get close to this description, like I get close to frames in museums, breathe on their glass and notice the dust. I wanted to get so close my vision would blur.”