Culture & Communication
was presented at the Prince Street Project Space of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art , New York, on February 6-8, 2015
« The installation immerses viewers in images of twisting bodies and unabashed nudes, pushing visitors to ponder the relationship between violence and homoerotic sexuality… a poignant and beautifully articulated antidote to mainstream cinematic war pornography like American Sniper. »
Art in America, February 6, 2015
The immersive transmedia installation combines video, drawing, a sound environment and photographs taken by Jeanne Hilary in Afghanistan, with texts from Jean Genet’s novel Querelle de Brest. The project explores themes of intimacy and alienation inherent to contemporary cultural attitudes toward pornography and conflict.
Blue Movie (Afghanistan) will be published as a book in Fall 2015
It will include drawings, photographs, texts by Jean Genet and Aeschylus in English, French, and ancient Greek, and a DVD of the video.
About Jeanne Hilary
Jeanne Hilary is a photographer and new-media artist based in New York and Paris. Her work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Musée Carnavalet, (Paris), the Museum for Contemporary Photography, Chicago among others, and is included in public and private collections internationally. In addition to long-term personal projects, she has worked as a for numerous publications, including Le Monde, Libération, the Guardian, El Pais, La Repubblica, Newsweek and The New York Times, in Afghanistan, India, Rwanda, China, Egypt, Turkey and throughout Europe and the United States.
About Jean Genet
Orphan, thief, homosexual, Jean Genet (1910 – 1986) was born to the status of the pariah. From this awareness he formed an ethic of artistic creation that could not be separated from an equally rigorous political consciousness. Any compromise with the “false fronts, the starch, the gilt, the quick coat of paint” of bourgeois society would have required a betrayal of the truth of his essential being.
Querelle de Brest (1947), was begun in prison during the Occupation. Genet, a multiple offender caught trying to steal a rare edition of Verlaine’s Fêtes Galantes, waited to learn if he would be sentenced to life in prison, or, because of his homosexuality, deported to a concentration camp.
“I love you more than myself. I only pretended to hate you. My quarrels separated me from you or bring up in me a too dangerous tenderness. My laugh is the sun that chases away the shadows you sow in me. I have spattered the night with daggers. I have piled up the barricades. My laugh isolates me, distances me from you. You are beautiful…”
Jean Genet, Querelle de Brest, 1947
Querelle de Brest is a contemplation of love based on pure freedom, constrained by seduction of formality and convention. Genet assigns transgression and betrayal as the fundamental condition of all love. The ultimate act of love: betrayal; the ultimate act of transgression: murder.
About the Prince Street Project Space
The Leslie Lohman Museum was founded in what is now the Prince Street Project Space in 1969, with a mission to present homosexual-themed art at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense, and classified by the medical profession as a mental illness. The Museum now holds over 1,000 works of art dating back to the Renaissance, and received its official museum status in 2009. The Prince Street Project Space continues to showcase boundary-pushing, experimental work