Visual AIDS Visual AIDS Visual AIDS 15h Annual Postcards From the Edge, January 25-27, 2013 The Body
Visual AIDS
Visual AIDS
  curator's statement november 2011 selection
      Visual AIDS

Anthony Allen
Photo by Rebecca Curry
i  a m  a n y o n e
c u r a t o r :  a n t h o n y  a l l e n

The title of this selection, "i am anyone," is taken from a poem by e.e. cummings, "someone i am wandering a town(if its." Here are the last few verses:

i am any(while around him streets
taking moment off by moment day
thankfully become each other)one who

feels a world crylaughingly float away

leaving just this strolling ghostly doll
of an almost vanished me(for whom
the departure of everything real is the
arrival of everything true)and i'm

no(if deeply less conceivable than
birth or death or even than breathing shall

blossom a first star)one

As I delved into the thousands of images of The Archive Project, I wanted to avoid putting together a selection of images that would act as a framework for an examination of subjectivity or the self. Of course, that's what it became. The process made me question separate (and often unreconciled) notions of queer identity. On the one hand, identity as a political instrument, organized around ideas of solidarity, resistance and social critique; on the other hand, identity as a tangled discursive category, a shifting and perhaps uncomfortable construction: a critique of identity.

Perversely, maybe, I zeroed in on floaters: masked subjects who seem to float away, whose identities are both assertions and retreats, hybrid bodies and almost vanished Mes. They are not negative, but liberating. Their withdrawal is an active search. Their resistance, their power even, is in their flight.

b i o g r a p h y

Anthony Allen is associate director at Paula Cooper Gallery and a translator. In 2007 he organized an exhibition of works by Ralph Lemon at The Kitchen with Claire Tancons. He was an editor of the now defunct publication Soft Targets. He lives in New York.


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