Curatorial Statement – Silky Shoemaker

The Gay Wax Museum is an idea Ive been dreaming on for years. The concept is very simple: Let’s create a museum to honor queer history. In particular, lets see how queer artists will represent and creatively engage these subjects. I wanted to honor the moments of anecdote and legacy that have been systematically erased over so many years from the canon of history, both straight and gay. Pay tribute to the many profound and often ephemeral moments that shape and define us as a culture. A wax museum format compels me with its immediacy. The human scale and diorama setting places the viewer right there in the web of it. Non-linear history envelopes and implicates us! I love the camp possibilities afforded by such a theatrical medium, and I believe that queer artists might have a natural affinity for nostalgic craft—a blending of the dramatic with the anecdotal, memory dressed up in fabulous costumes. This exhibit is in no way exhaustive. As curator, my hope is to facilitate new authorship, inspire examination of our past and possible futures, and to unearth buried treasure. These installations offer glimpses into an elusive fabled archive, but could never attempt to completely represent it. History continues to show us that it is those marginalized by class, race, and gender whose stories are silenced most violently, insidiously. Without a doubt, this exhibit would benefit from more voices and perspectives, especially those of black, brown and trans artists. I hope…

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