The Erotics of the Archive: A Queer Feminist Methodology

Over the last 40 years photographic visual artist, Del LaGrace Volcano has used what they describe as a ‘queer feminist methodology’ which is a way of working that is invested in making work with speaking subjects. A process of ‘persistent desire’ and continuous collaboration. This methodology exposes and queers the problematic violence of the conventional (heteronormative) subject/object photographic relationship.

Most recently they are employing this same methodology to co-create their archive with Christie Costello. While desire’s place in the archival encounter has been extensively explored in scholarship and artistic practice, the role of what Joan Nestle has termed ‘erotic exchange’ in the material production of the archive has been under-explored.

In these three video presentations, Volcano and Costello will discuss how their relationship is, in turn, characterised by a dynamic of polymorphous desires, in which the fixed scholar’s archive is required to mutate and transform. This living archive is a rhizomic intergenerational duet that speaks to questions of intimacy, sexuality and the power of vulnerability.

JO & ISLING, LONDON 1993 photo credit: Della Grace

WARNING: The following presentations contain images of an explicit nature and adult themes.

Part 1: An Archive of the Queer Selves

Part 2: A Queer Feminist Methodology

Part 3: The Queer Archive of Speaking Subjects + Q&A


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