Nayland Blake is a queer icon known for their provocative videos, performances, and sculpture that examine queer sexuality and culture. Blake’s use of multiple mediums, such as sculpture, video, and costuming, can be seen as reflective of the wide-ranging spectrum of queer performance. Queer for Days
consists of stacked gift boxes bound by a gold ribbon containing T-shirts displaying the title. Queer expression often includes external performance such as clothing choice, and while this work involves an apparel element, the T-shirts stay hidden and untouched within the boxes. The title of the piece proudly states the permanence of Blake’s identity, while keeping the T-shirts bound in closed boxes suggests that their identity, like that of many others, has historically been smothered. But ultimately, this work appears to celebrate Blake’s queerness, and perhaps even offer it to the world as a gift.
From the exhibition: They’re, Their, There (July 28 – September 30, 2018)