“Queer Tropics” at Transformer

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Want a second chance to see “Queer Tropics”? Head to Washington, DC!

Installation view of “Queer Tropics” at Pelican Bomb Gallery X, New Orleans. Photo by Jonathan Traviesa.

Installation view of “Queer Tropics” at Pelican Bomb Gallery X, New Orleans. Photo by Jonathan Traviesa.

Washington, DC-based arts organization Transformer is proud to present “Queer Tropics,” a group exhibition that considers the abstract idea of the tropics and how that vision has been variously created, reinforced, and confronted. Originally presented at Pelican Bomb Gallery X in November 2017, “Queer Tropics” features artworks that examine the visual and cultural systems through which one imagines the landscape of the tropics as a site of leisure, sensuality, and play.

In Washington, DC, far from palm-lined streets and white-sand beaches, the dichotomy between workaday life and vacation fantasy is immediately felt. Featuring works by eight artists working in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Kansas City—with varied relationships to the Global South—“Queer Tropics” both embraces and blurs this conceptual and literal distance in order to better understand how we relate to place, whether real or imagined.

Pelican Bomb has been making exhibitions in New Orleans since 2013, and the so-called “northernmost Caribbean city,” is a particularly important location from which to reflect on the interconnectedness of aesthetics, tourism, and the body. New Orleans’ geographic position and economic history have made it a gateway for trade and travel between the United States, Europe, and the Global South, and it has long been considered a site for indulgence, hedonism, and no-holds-barred fun.

The exhibition’s travel to Transformer’s exhibition space in Washington, DC, in many ways models the movement of people, objects, and ideas critical to the conception of “Queer Tropics,” while simultaneously demonstrating how small arts organizations can facilitate networks of mutual support, resource-sharing, and information exchange.

Join Transformer for an opening reception on Saturday, March 10, 6–8 pm. For more information, visit Transformer’s website.