Week 3 (Minor): Duane Michals – Things Are Queer, 1973

“Things Are Queer” is a narrative which distorts reality within each frame and offers a different perspective in a simple yet well orchestrated series. It is an illusion which tricks the viewer into questioning what is real and what isn’t whilst also questioning photography as a documentation of reality and how easily photographs can be manipulated through framing and scale.

Each photograph is reliant on the other and are set in a particular way in order for the narrative to be read correctly. If each photograph were to stand of their own, it would have little to no impact and relies on each other to portray the narrative. As the camera continues to move back, each photograph reveals something new and out of the ordinary with the assistance of objects scaled to a size smaller than normal; a form of exaggeration. Duane Michals is constantly questioning what is normal and what is not.

People are often ignorant towards things which they do not understand so Michals begins to question that and interrupt this attitude through a “queer” narrative. It could pose as an allegory for the LGBT community and how “queer” is a word which is commonly associated. However, queer doesn’t necessarily mean it is abnormal or weird and that is what the narrative is communicating. It is telling the viewer that although we may not understand something that doesn’t mean we should be ignorant and that it is okay not to know everything.

It is a series that questions everything and entertains the thought of all that is queer within the world.

things-are-queer

Imagery Source: http://www.artnet.com/artists/duane-michals/things-are-queer-a-4hkdWwBug3RZTPZsn5BoWQ2

References:
http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/duane-michals#3
http://socks-studio.com/2015/04/23/things-are-queer-by-duane-michals-1973/ http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/Weingberg.html
https://filthydreams.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/things-are-queer-at-duane-michals-retrospective-at-the-carnegie-museum-of-art/

 

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