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This photo shows an installation of two black-and-white photographs on a black wall, and on a white wall, there is gallery text of the artist statement.


Darren Spirk

framed archival inkjet prints; single channel video incl. poem, played on loop; stereo channel sound, played on loop


What does it mean to relate against the grain of relation?

This installation enacts a methodology based on Keguro Macharia's theory of frottage: rather than use relationality to tell complete narratives around a reparative kinship or universal humanity, frottage confronts the frictional zone where bodies, forms, and concepts brush against one another in tenuous, ephemeral, and perhaps even violent ways. It combines the aesthetic and sensory with the erotic and sensual, focusing on the traces of what has passed through different spaces of charged encounter.

Calling on two contrasting moments of intimacy that emerged toward the end of the six years that my partner and I lived together in Egypt--conditioned within the ongoing reverberations of state violence--this multisensory installation unthreads a range of frictional sensations which work in counterpoint to one another, asking how the queer intimate can produce an alternative, deliberately abrasive relationship to sensuality, the sensory, and sense-making more broadly.

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