Academic Session 7: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017

Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing and archiving pre-AIDS sexual cultures in Europe in the visual arts


Fiona Anderson, Newcastle University,

How might we best reconstruct and understand LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) visual cultures from the decade between the partial decriminalization of homosexuality and the advent of an international gay rights movement in the late 1960s, and the first reported cases of HIV and AIDS in the early 1980s? As Michael Bronski asked in his recent book A Queer History of the United States: ‘If LGBT history resides in the queer space of being both enormously vital and non-existent, can we even write and speak about it? How do we uncover and explicate the past so that it brings new understandings to popular culture and scholarly pursuits alike?’ While public attitudes towards queer sexualities and the legislative treatment of LGBTQ people in the 1970s and today differs greatly across Europe, this session examines what might be gained collectively, now and in the future, from examining the shared and dissonant European experiences of persecution, discrimination, collaborative action, protest, and pleasure in the 1970s visually.

As HIV seroconversion rates rise across Europe, this session highlights contemporary queer research that explores places, histories, or visions of the future from the pre-AIDS era that have been lost or forgotten, which were fleeting or ephemeral, censored or destroyed. Looking at work from Spain, Poland, Germany, and the UK, these six papers explore the visual forms in which these pasts were and are archived and shared by artists, art historians, and activists, and deal with what a return to the 1970s can contribute to understandings of queer visual culture and politics in Europe in the present and the future.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Aleksandra Gajowy (Newcastle University) Beyond the Archive: The Inconvenient Body of Krzysztof Niemczyk

WITHDRAWN - Iñaki Estella Noriega (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) Cabaret Politics in Barcelona’s Late ‘70s and its Reception by Artists

Laura Guy (Glasgow School of Art) Dyke Vandals and Feminist Pamphleteers: Drawing a line through the long 1970s

Fiona Anderson (Newcastle University) Between Coldstream and Clause 28: Critical pedagogy and queer experience in the British art school

Tom Wilkinson (The Architectural Review) Hetero/Homotopia: Queer space in the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Theodore Gordon (The Courtauld Institute of Art) Afterlives of Super 8 Film: Derek Jarman at the ICA