Previously at the ICA - Events

Prem Sahib, 'spinning lil' white lies about his crepuscular time in Yellow', 2013. Courtesy of Dosfotos

Camping Cubicles

30 Jul 2013

This discussion looks at how (toilet) cubicles have functioned as sites for drawings to investigate the potentialities of such contested, even inconsequential, spaces in sustaining counter-cultural practices.

Peering through the glory hole into the private of the public, markings oscillate between graffiti, cocky maxims and the lyrical. These gestures are more than just writing on the wall: with numbers and outlines of genitals scribbled behind lavatory doors, the cubicle-as-noticeboard became a precursor to online hook-up spaces and peer forums in the networking of the queer community. Inextricably tied to the history of club culture, cruising and cottaging, the cubicle has been the focus of several artist interventions, a locale outside of art world posturing. The realm of shit is that of gay subjectivisation, a poetic camping of toilet humour.

As such, the politics at hand in the cubicle is that of the shifting boundaries of queer geographies, and the architectural spatialisation of queer desire. If the cubicle becomes a metaphor for an expansive queer practice, what are its embodiments today?

Speakers include Prem Sahib, Dr Richard Hornsey, Dr Brian Lobel and Adrian Rifkin.

Prem Sahib is an artist based in London, graduating from the Royal Academy Schools this year. Solo exhibitions include Back Chat, Galleria Lorcan OʼNeill, Rome; spinning lʼil white lies about his crepuscular time in Yellow, White Cubicle, St George & The Dragon, London (both 2013); and He Looked Me Up, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam (2012). Performances include Woman to Woman (2012), Gallery Vela, London; and Darkroom (2011) with Eddie Peake, Vogue Fabrics, London.

Dr Richard Hornsey is a senior lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England. In 2010 Minnesota UP published his book The Spiv and the Architect: Unruly Life in Postwar London, about, in his own words, 'post-war urban reconstruction and its complex interaction with emerging forms of queer male subjectivity'. He is co-founder and co-chair of the 20s30sNetwork, an interdisciplinary association for the study of interwar British modernities.

Dr Brian Lobel is a senior lecturer in Theatre at the University of Chichester. He has staged performances at the Victoria & Albert Museum and BFI, London; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York. Lobel has published articles for Contemporary Theatre Review, PAJ and Performance Research. For Fun With Cancer Patients he received a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.

Adrian Rifkin recently retired from a professorship of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, previously holding professorships in Visual Culture at Middlesex University and Fine Art at the University of Leeds. He is a former editor of the journal Art History and a founder of Parallax. Rifkin is the author of Street Noises: Parisian Pleasure 1900-40 (University of Manchester Press, 1993) and Ingres Then and Now (Routledge, 2000).

This event has been curated and initiated by ICA Student Forum member Abri de Swardt.

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