Franklin Street Works presents a group exhibition exploring queerness through the lens of class and vice versa
By Franklin Street Works

May 15, 2017 - 8:04:47 AM

Hagra Evening with the Bros (detail), 2017 Digital print Courtesy of the Artist (contributed image)
Stamford, CT - Franklin Street Works, a not-for-profit art space in Stamford, presents its new exhibition, “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor.”

Curated by New York City-based artist Yevgeniy Fiks and curator Olga Kopenkina, the exhibition features work by Angela Beallor, Hugo Gellert, Montague Glover, Noam Gonick, Hagra, William E. Jones, Erik Moskowitz+Amanda Trager, Jaanus Samma, and YES! Association / Föreningen JA!.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Connecticut Office of the Arts, opens with a free public reception on Sunday, May 21, 4:00-7:00 pm. There will also be a curator, artist, and scholar panel prior to the reception from 3:00-4:00 pm with Fiks and Kopenkina; exhibiting artists Beallor, Gonick, Moscowitz, and Trager; and UConn English Professor Serkan Gorkemli.

In “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor,” individual artists and collectives contribute works that represent a desire for liberation through critically engaged connections between class, gender, and sexuality. By reviewing queer identities from the class perspective and class identities through queer sensibilities, the artists in the show rediscover political potentialities within today’s LGBTQI cultural paradigm. “The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor” interrogates the possibility of love in a class-based society. On the other hand, it attempts to envision a classless society, akin to the LGBTQI “affectionate community” which, according to historian John D’Emilio, doesn’t “depend on the bonds of blood or the license of the state, but are freely chosen and nurtured.”

Will queer communities, which are driven by “true desire,” not norms, restore love and produce new relationships between people based on equalities of all forms of love and labor? Artists who present their works in the exhibition extend this desire to all people.

Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been living and working in New York since 1994. He has developed many projects on the post-Soviet dialog in the West, among which are: “Lenin for Your Library?”; “Communist Party USA,” “Communist Guide to New York City,” and “Reading Lenin with Corporations.” He has curated and co-curated exhibitions in New York City, including: “Monument to Cold War Victory” at The Cooper Union (2014), "The Wayland Rudd Collection" at Winkleman Gallery (2014), and “Future Queer Perfect” at Station Independent Projects (2015).

Olga Kopenkina is a Belarus-born, New York-based independent curator and art critic. Her curatorial projects and exhibitions include: Feminism is Politics!, at Pratt Manhattan gallery, 2016; Future Queer Perfect (co-curated with Yevgeniy Fiks) at Station Independent Project, 2016; Lenin Icebreaker Revisited, Austrian Cultural Forum NY, 2014-2015; It’s not paranoia when they are really after you, film program at apex art, NY, 2007; Russia: Significant Other, Anna Akhmatova Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2006; Post-Diasporas: Voyages and Missions at the First Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2005. Kopenkina is a contributor to publications such as Art Journal, Moscow Art Magazine, Modern Painters, Afterimage, and others. She teaches at Department of Media, Culture and Communication, in Steinhardt School at New York University.

Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On-street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 7:00 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. Hours: Café: Tues-Fri, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sat/Sun, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Gallery: Tues-Sun, 12:00 pm–5:00 pm.

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