“Making Something from Nothing”: Queer Futures, Glittering Gestures, and the Reimagined Body

A detail of a collage with a section of black glitter that covers what appears to be a face. Eyes and lips show through the patch of glitter
Wangechi Mutu, Cancer of the Uterus (detail), 2006, glitter, fur, and collage on digital print, 23 x 17 inches, Tang Teaching Museum collection, gift of Michael Jenkins and Javier Romero, 2016.27.10

Join us on Monday, October 21, at 7:00 PM, for a talk by Xavier M. Watson on the queer politics and aesthetics of craft making.

Taking its cue from feminist art critic Lucy Lippard’s 1978 essay “Making Something from Nothing (Towards a Definition of Women’s ‘Hobby Art’),” Watson considers the radical possibilities of “amateurism” by focusing on the queer enmeshment of materials, artistic labor, and craft practices. Watson traces the sparkling contours of the handmade as a radical political and aesthetic strategy for reimagining our past, present, and future.

During his visit to Skidmore, Watson will also lead a critical craft laboratory workshop with students of S. Donald Bellamy’s Introduction to Gender Studies course in relation to critical craft theory and the Tang’s current exhibition Serious Sparkle.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Tang Teaching Museum and the Gender Studies Department.

About the Speaker

Xavier M. Watson is a writer, curator, and interdisciplinary scholar of modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on theories of the body, fiber and textiles, and critical craft theory. Xavier is a PhD candidate at Indiana University-Bloomington in the Department of Gender Studies. His current project, “Technologies of Excess: Feeling Fat Futurity in Contemporary Photography,” reads and feels across woolly photographic archives for glimpses of fat futurity and queer world-making.

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