8/8/2019 - 1/5/2020
Organizing institution: The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, "Otherwise" seeks to visualize LGBTQ+ themes and histories as a way of valuing them. Art historian David Getsy defines ‘otherwise’ as the “endless positions of apartness from which queer stances are posited.” The exhibition brings together modern and contemporary works in The Fralin’s collection using “positions of apartness” to examine the effects of heteronormativity on art history and the influence queer culture has had and continues to have on the visual arts. Queer histories past and present are explored through three themes: "Self, Subject, and Style", but the nature of many of the artworks on display allow for fluid associations throughout the exhibition that speak to wider LGBTQ+ culture and influence.
Throughout art history and museum culture important biographical information about artists has been downplayed or interpreted to serve heteronormativity, creating unnecessary barriers to the history and study of LGBTQ+ art. "Otherwise" creates a place for these histories to be recovered, a place where otherness is valued as a site for strength and possibility, and a place where contemporary artistic practices visualize worlds of queer expression free from discrimination. As theorist José Esteban Muñoz wrote, “Often we can glimpse the worlds proposed and promised by queerness in the realm of the aesthetic.” "Otherwise" was inspired by the leaders of the Stonewall Uprising who fought and all of the LGBTQ+ individuals who continue to fight for these worlds.