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Mary Coble – Performing Queer Resistance

14. November 2015 19:00

Mary Coble, artist and educator will discuss queer strategies of resistance through artistic practice and activism. Coble’s live work and multimedia installations revolve around queer politics, poetics and histories, often imploring unpredictability, messiness and failure as ways of subverting mainstream expectations and desires.

This talk will include examples from Coble’s work such as: Blood Script (2008) where hate speech was gathered from a public and tattooed inklessly on the artist’s skin as an act of solidarity; Fighting Cocks (2011) a durational performance in a locker room exploring queer masculinities in gendered spaces; Deferral (2013), a collective protest calling for the gay hero in face of the discriminatory practices that disallow gay men from donating blood; and Performing Defiance (2015) where the gesture of the raised fist combined with extensive glitter bombing was repeated ad absurdum pointing to the political power of “tactical frivolity”.

Mary Coble biography:

Through live work and multimedia installations-including photography, video and sound and sculpture Mary Coble aims to manifest problems of bodily, societal and symbolic navigation particularly focusing on issues of injustice and normative boundaries. Recurrent themes in Coble’s work revolve around queer politics, poetics and histories often working site-specifically, research-based and – from time to time – collectively/participatory.

Engagement in artistic practices and interventions within and outside of established institutions and the use of activist strategies are integral to Coble’s work, which has been included in exhibitions such as “Homosexuality_ies”, The Schwules Museum*, Berlin, Germany; Queer Objectivity, The Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive, Nikolaj Center of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, Denmark and in the traveling archive re.act.feminism #2-a performing archive.

Coble has most recently performed live as part of the Rapid Pulse Performance Festival in Chicago, Illinois; the MADE Festival, Umea, Sweden; Commitment Issues: An Evening of Performances at Oasis Aqualounge, an ‘up-scale sex club” supported by FADO Performance Art Network, Toronto, Canada; Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY and at Artists Space in Performa 05.

The most recent multimedia solo exhibitions include Gestures of Defiance at the Vita Kuben, Umea, Sweden (2015), Protest in Pride a work commissioned by the Gothenburg Pride Festival (2014) at Gothenburg City Library and in the Pride March, Deferral, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2013) and Maneuvering, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012).

Originally from North Carolina, USA, Coble currently lives in Gothenburg, Sweden and is a Senior Lecturer in the Fri Konst and Photography Units of the MFA Programs at Valand Academy of Art, Gothenburg University.

Mary Coble/2015


19 Uhr im Schwulen Museum* – Die Veranstaltung findet auf Englisch statt.