pleasurehome: desiring queer space
four months—four new works—one by one—here; welcome to the pleasurehome. an exhibition inspired by Catherine Opie, featuring John Greyson, Evan Sproat, Kaeten Bonli, and Shawné Michaelain Holloway, curated by Logan Williams, in collaboration with The Art Museum at The University of Toronto and The Jackman Humanities Institute. we’re happy you’re here—in this queer home. this month: Shawné Michaelain Holloway’s SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE. On view until April 30, 2022.
Self-Portrait / Cutting
40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm) Edition of 8, 2 AP
© Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and
Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, London, and Seoul
you catch a glimpse of your body as you strip off your sweat-soaked clothes, naked in the mirror. breathing, moving. if only you could explode out of the container. two women carved rendered in childish forms a house the sun some gulls the “household” upended incisions made in Opie’s back drip and ooze palpable the transference of the pain on my body reaching out and touching me carnal hermeneutics the lesbian home corporeal ten commandments and the abject stains of blood and gore immediate refusal for some even vomit the scene is one of hope and violence audience oscillation desiring her pain a new story told the lesbians are me they are you too the scar will surely stay sprawled on supple skin reminders of otherwise horizons exploding like dormant volcanoes this body suffering for us opie’s drawing her skin too becoming life-size taking form making real communities desires pulsing unencumbered this new home what does that place look like? where do you come home to your queer desires? and when? imagining spaces arriving in your body carrying with you the crass and dull weights of expectation and survival shedding them now building new trusses a roof for us our desire our real real bodies exploding out of the container how did you get home?
4 – SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE (2022)
Climbing uphill for the chance at a kiss, Shawné Michaelain Holloway’s SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE concludes pleasurehome: desiring queer space with an invitation to a new home.
In Anna Anthropy’s 2018 Might Jill Off, Jill is tasked with the protection of the Queen’s tower as her loyal and dutiful servant. The online game opens with Jill’s desire to kiss the boots of the Queen but must first climb to the top of the tower in a series of challenges to be granted the opportunity. The fulfilment of this perverse pleasure is contingent on a successful run from top to bottom and made possible again, in the case of death, with the replenishment of new ‘lives’ in an inevitable win for the diligent gamer. Resounding from this narrative are the obstructions placed in the way of desire; the queer subject is tasked with an obstacle course of deadly missions before they can experience the unfolding of their pleasures, with violence left as necessary residues on each new desire. For Shawné Michaelain Holloway, the game stands as a testament to the necessity of building queer home through reconsidered environments, to observe the potency of the queer experience in The Mighty Jill Off through re-establishing a space to consider the pursuit of pleasure. For thirty days, Holloway welcomes web users to transform their homepage to SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE for deeper contemplation on how queerness is mobilized in the space of the day, for better and for worse, through a combination of poetry, images, and audio testimonials that take a new shape every day. The sprite who persistently climbs up and down a ladder in this ever-changing online environment not only confronts the trope of the girl in the tower but asks viewers to consider the embodied relationship that emerges from pursuing desire.
As with much of Holloway’s work, SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE moves beyond the framework of the internet by considering the performativity of spaces and queer experience, gathering source material from friends and colleagues to imbue the webpage with a life of its own. A daily return ‘home’, a shift in the interface, a new collection of poetic gestures: this accrual captures the dense landscape of potential meanings home has for each of us as pleasurehome reaches its final days. Holloway expertly guides us to an end of more questions, of deeper contemplation, much like Jill climbing the ladder, toward a desire we simply cannot abandon.
To set SPEEDRUNHOME.PAGE as your homepage:
- On your Mac computer, open Safari.
- At the top right, click Safari > Preferences > General.
- In the homepage field, enter the webpage address. To use the webpage you’re currently viewing, click Set to Current Page.
- Choose when your homepage is shown.
Click for further instructions on how to change your homepage in Safari.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More > Settings.
- Under Appearance, turn on Show Home button.
- Below Show Home button, choose to use the New Tab page or a custom page.
Click for further instructions on how to change your homepage in Chrome.
- On your computer, open Firefox.
- At the top right, click Firefox and select Preferences.
- Click the Home panel.
- Click the menu next to homepage and new windows and choose to show the default Firefox Home page, custom URL, or a blank page.
Click for further instructions on how to change your homepage in Firefox.
INTERNET EXPLORER 11
- On your computer, open Internet Explorer.
- At the top right, select Tools > Internet options.
- In the General tab under homepage, enter the URL of the site you want to set as a homepage. You can add more than one URL.
- Select Apply > OK.
Click for further instructions on how to change your homepage in Internet Explorer.
An immense thank you to Barbara Fischer for her belief and guidance in the unfurling of this project; to Marianne, Maureen, and Esther at the Art Museum whom have made this project possible; to Kaitlyn Simpson for her genius; to Cathy Opie who helped sow the seeds of the exhibition; to Alison and Kim at the JHI for their unwavering support; to Cosita, SKP, and Z for their love and listening; to John, Evan, Kaeten and Shawné for their brilliance and versatility, to whom I dedicate this queer home. And to you, for being here. Thank you.