Imminent domain: Queer space in the built environment

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Abstract

Although the idea of queer space has provoked the interest of cultural theorists, political activists, and utopian dreamers, little attention has been paid to its visual aspect. This reflects, in part, the conservatism of the design professions, which have been slow to acknowledge issues of sexual identity. But it reflects, as well, an ontological problem: queer space may be a contradiction in terms. Some would argue that queerness, as an ineffable ideal of oppositional culture, is so fluid and contingent that the idea of a concrete queer space is an oxymoron. I prefer to define queerness historically as an identity, arising in the 1980s through the confluence of the relatively separate gay and lesbian movements of the previous decade, joining not just gays and lesbians, but all manner of sex/gender scofflaws under a simple in-your-face term. 1 As a historical phenomenon, its spatial signifiers can be charted and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalArt Journal
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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