One of the latest assignments for my Post Studio Projects class was a text based project. We had already done presentations on certain textual artists and were then given the task of creating and enacting our own work. My artist was Mel Bochner, who works in Yiddish and expletives, using them to reclaim spaces. Thus I decided to expand my exploration of queer art and take a look at Polari, the coded language used by queer men in the 19th and 20th centuries as a means of communicating with each other without being noticed and facing the consequences put in place by society.
I had each participant select a word to wear and then gave them a response to use should they be questioned about their shirt. Most of the responses from outsiders have been a mix of confusion and intrigue, with a few unexpected and hilarious results. If you wish to take a further look at the individual participants and their words The Polari Gang (The Code) project can be found in my portfolio in the navigation bar at the top of the screen or by clicking the project title. Please feel free to also learn more about Polari online. While it is not entirely necessary in order to survive (at least in the U.S.) it is a language that is a part of queer history and should be preserved.
Open your mind, be brave, and be kind.
To See With One's Body and Soul
This blog documents all of my adventures, as well as my development into an artist, writer, and a better person.