Introduction: Re-Framed—Inscribing Lesbian, Gay and Queer Presences in Visual Culture
This book is an exploration on the part of artists, art historians, critics and theorists of how we might inscribe lesbian and gay sexualities, identities and desires into accounts of past and current artistic production and its reception. It takes the reader into accounts of the past (Part I), into statements by practising artists of the present day (Part II), and into discussions of a broad range of contemporary visual cultures that includes photography and the consumption of popular culture, as well as the traditional categories of fine art (Part III). These interconnecting parts share a concern with the relationship between visual theory and our understanding of sexual categories. This is characterized in various ways: art historians insert a queer perspective into the consumption and historiography of past art; contemporary artists refer to, quote and adapt the codes and styles of past artists; lesbians read same-sex pleasures into fashion magazines in a way that is both with and against the grain of ostensibly heterosexual imagery. In these and other ways, contributors to this book remove the presumption of a heterosexual viewer, construct alternative traditions and find means of inscribing a queer presence in the play of spectatorship to be accessed within the product, whatever the sexual identity of the artist/producer who created the work or the heterosexual postulations of the text.