This series of workshops will ask what's at stake, in redrawing queer history to explore ways to include our own experiences as pathways to queer futures. The work aims to re-contextualise British video artist Stuart Marshall's idea of a history of the present explored through works like Bright Eyes and the works that influenced it like Gay Sweatshop Theatre's As Time Goes By, as works that explored a century of queerness and what repression and liberation really mean to those who identify with the cultural and political making and re-making of LGBTQI community.
The workshop has been conceived by artist Conal McStravick as part of an ongoing live research project titled Learning in a Public Medium that takes Stuart Marshall's works as the basis of new research and practice for existing and new audiences. For a series of events at The Showroom Conal has invited artists and researchers with shared and intersecting interests in Marshall and his creative context to share their methodologies as ways to enter into new readings and performances that will contribute to performance event at The Showroom Gallery that will bring together parallel UK-wide Learning in a Public Medium activity.
Conal McStravick (b.1979, Lurgan, N.Ireland) makes solo and collaborative works to explore the histories, social practices, and economies of art and queer politics. In 2013, McStravick began researching Marshall and has since developed a series of active research events titled Learning in a Public Medium. This series explores Marshall’s works, legacies and contemporary resonances as artist, activist, writer and educator through workshops, screenings and presentations. McStravick has appeared on panels at Glasgow Film Theatre, BFI London and Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image to talk about queer film and video, Marshall and the Learning in a Public Medium project. In 2017, The Showroom, London are partnering with Conal McStravick & LUX to develop Learning in a Public Medium into a series of new dialogues with Marshall’s works at venues across the UK.
Stuart Marshall (b. 1949 Manchester, UK) was a founder member of London Video Arts in 1976, and was a committed advocate of British video art, as a practitioner, curator and theorist. He curated the first UK/Canadian Video Exchange in 1984 and his videos and writings were amongst the first to explore the relationship between video, television and the media. With later works such as Bright Eyes, he explored, and challenged, misrepresentations of homosexuality during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, at a time when lesbian and gay lifestyles and sexuality were under attack as a result of Clause 28 and the media-encouraged prejudice surrounding the spread of AIDS. Towards the end of his life, working with Maya Vision, Marshall made a number of Channel 4 commissioned documentaries concerning gay identity and he continued to be a passionate campaigner for gay rights.