Pacific Standard Time art collaboration to include queer history
In Los Angeles, from the 1930s to the 1950s, science fiction reading groups and occult communities helped pave the way for the LGBTQ equality movement.
These groups provided safe places for LGBTQ artists, scientists, publishers, and thinkers who worked together to imagine and create their own world, free from society’s contempt for the LGBTQ community.
The ONE Archives at USC Libraries will explore this unexplored part of queer history in the “Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation” exhibit.
The exhibition will be part of the ambitious Pacific Standard Time, the regional artistic collaboration that began in 2012.
The next edition of Pacific Standard Time is slated to open in 2024 and will explore the intersections of art and science on an unprecedented scale.
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“The ‘Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation’ project will show how people who lived outside established norms were drawn to science fiction and used science fiction publications and groups to create and maintain rich communities. and imagined, ”Alexis Bard Johnson, curator of ONE Archives told Q Voice News.
The exhibit is a perfect fit for the ONE Archives, Johnson said, as Jim Kepner was a key member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society and the Mattachine Society, the first gay organization in the United States, and a sci-fi creator. and early homophile publications. .
The Kepner Gay History Collection is also the basis of the ONE Archives.
The Getty Foundation announced On Wednesday, $ 5.38 million in exhibition-research grants to 45 cultural, educational and scientific institutions in Southern California to prepare for the massive artistic collaboration. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty Foundation.
A second round of grants from the Getty Foundation, to be announced at a later date, will support the implementation of the exhibits, according to a press release announcing the grants. Several additional projects are in development, including exhibition and programming partnerships, and will also be announced in the coming months, the statement said.
Throughout history, art and science have had a sometimes acrimonious relationship. In the press release, Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, said she believes “the remarkably diverse and inventive approaches taken by all partner institutions will produce revealing results and productive civic dialogue.”
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Johnson said several questions would lead ONE archives‘ research:
- Why did the first homophile organizers turn to science fiction?
- How did fan clubs and science fiction publications influence the start of the LGBTQ movement?
- What does science fiction, which emphasizes science, offer that genres like fantasy don’t?
- Given the current revival of interest in gender and the sexual fluidity and rejection of binaries and labels, what can we learn from the return to this period before the solidification of LGBTQ identities?
- How did the innovations of science and science fiction encourage this moment?
The in-depth dive of the ONE Archives curatorial team will include tours of archives and private collections of sci-fi, occult and LGBTQ material across the United States and the United Kingdom and consultations with other researchers to design the exhibition and related public programs.
They will also trace the activities of organizations such as the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Ordo Templi Orientis at Agape Lodge and ONE Inc.
Finally, “Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation” will feature illustrations from science fiction magazines, visual artwork in a variety of media, and costumes from sci-fi fans that bring to life the rich imaginative worlds of these. crossed communities.
Pacific Standard Time will feature dozens of concurrent exhibitions and programs at various locations across Southern California including LACMA, Los Angeles County Natural History Museums, California Institute of Technology, Southern California Institute of Architecture , the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Along with LGBTQ history, Pacific Standard Time programming will address the complex challenges of the 21st century – from climate change and environmental racism to COVID-19 and artificial intelligence – and the creative solutions these problems demand.
“Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation” will be presented at the USC Fisher Museum of Art.
ONE Archives previously organized two Pacific Standard Time exhibitions: “Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano LA” in 2017-2018 and “Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles, 1945-1980” in 2012.