Radical Drag

October 2, 2008

By Stacey Ho
Steven Cohen's "Chandelier," 2001. Photo John Hogg

Steven Cohen's "Chandelier," 2001. Photo John Hogg

Considering the current federal cuts targeted at art production, it does well to be reminded that what is precious in art is often what fearful conservatives are seeking to eliminate.

Radical Drag, opening at Ottawa’s SAW Gallery, presents performance, photography, wearable artworks, sculpture and video: art that uses drag to align issues of sex and gender with other forms of dispossession. The exhibition looks at examples of this practice as a form of social critique, addressing ideas of race, war, colonialism, and trauma.

“The state would impose legislature on what a body looks like, how a body is to move,” says Tobaron Waxman, who co-curated the exhibition with Stefan St-Laurent. “Drag has always been a vanguard in terms of being in conflict with that.”

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