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2014.26_Patricia Piccinini, The Gathering

Queer Readings of the Monash University Collection

‘Queer Readings of the Monash University Collection’ aims to diversify writing on the Collection and launches alongside our sixtieth anniversary program in 2021. For this project, a group of invited writers and artists contextualise a selection of works of art through the lenses of their experience and knowledge.

Reading works ‘queerly’ is a strategy for intervening in an art historical record that has participated in reinforcing heterosexuality as the societal norm. Queer Readings acknowledges that what have been considered to be non-normative sexualities and gender identities have been a part of our social lives for a long time—they just couldn’t be read as such.

Writers have chosen works from a broad selection based on two main criteria: the first was works by artists who identify as LGBTIQ+, queer, trans, non-binary, gender diverse, sistergirl or brotherboy (terms in use in our geographical region); the second was works of art that materially, formally or conceptually reference queer experience or cultures on an overt or subtextual level, whether or not the work’s maker is queer identifying.

Tropes and values such as camp, coding and subversion influenced the original selection, resulting in a body of works that could either be seen as subversive in themselves, or are perceived as able to be subverted. Subtle clues and codes have been essential to the survival and thriving of queer people and here we have found signs, spaces and even figures that can be read in subcultural ways.

—Melissa Ratliff, MUMA Curator (Research) and Francis E. Parker, MUMA Curator (Exhibitions)

Queer Readings of the Monash University Collection
Hoda Afshar

Behold #1, #6 and #12 2015,-Paradise-2-orange_580px.jpg
Brook Garru Andrew

Paradise 2 (Orange) 2011
Archie Barry

Tatsache 2017,-Rising-Damp_580px.jpg
Pat Brassington

Rising Damp 1995
Louisa Bufardeci

I Know I Don't Know 2015
Sybil Craig

Lilies c.1936
Juan Dávila

Self-portrait as Ingre’s Violin 1984
Destiny Deacon

Meloncholy 2000,-Big-Riot-Painting_580px.jpg
Mathew Jones

Big Painting (RIOT # 1: DEAD) 1995,-Time-is-the-Fire_580px_FINAL.jpg
Dani Marti

Time Is the Fire in Which We Burn 2009
Time Is the Fire 2010,-Wizard-of-Oz_580px.jpg
Tracey Moffatt

The Wizard of Oz, 1956 1994,-The-Gathering_580px.jpg
Patricia Piccinini

The Gathering 2007
Henrik Olesen

A.T. 2012
Roy de Maistre

Christ Divested of His Purple Robes c.1950
David McDiarmid

Don’t Forget to Remember 1994
Joshua Smith

Domain Gardeners Pose c.1925–70
Charlie Sofo

Cracks, Faults, Fractures 2012

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