FAGGOT & OTHER LGBTQ2+ STORIES

FAGGOT & OTHER LGBTQ2+ STORIES
Ben Benedict
Satellite Project Space
July 21-31, 2021

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 22, 2021, 5-7 PM (COVID Restrictions Enforced)

Digital Talk & Tour: Launches Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 7 PM:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtRFhpyZknCiTrFRfHq3upA

Media coverage in the London Free Press: https://lfpress.com/entertainment/local-arts/local-lgbtq2-artist-confronts-hate-filled-f-word-in-new-exhibit

“Faggot.” It’s an insidious, hate filled word meant to degrade. It’s a utilitarian object of sticks and rope with multiple uses. It is the material and narrative that forms the foundation of this exhibition and reflects both the public and private hurt many in the LGBTQ2+ community experience too often. It also reflects my artistry as a Bricoleur and Social Justice Activist with these themes drawn from my own public and private life. In addressing ‘Faggot’ as a theme, I am addressing the unequal power imbalance between those heaving and those receiving its signifying message – suggesting an object to be burned and destroyed – in spite of recent social changes including gay marriage and human rights recognition.

As a self-proclaimed London Regionalist, in this exhibition I am also tying myself to that language and history. In this way this exhibit is as much about history as it is about reclaiming language, including my history as a gay man and as an artist, and my place and role in each. What I have come to understand of this journey, my journey, is captured in the words of Casey Legler (2017) who writes:

“’Faggot’ are beautiful, magical, brave humans who have overcome the loss of an entire generation of their elders to HIV and AIDS and who have, despite this, approached life with resilience, grace, and class, despite opposition, beratement, beatings, oppression, and exclusion from their families, their kin, their jobs, and their homes. They are some of the most beautiful human beings I know, who have overcome huge adversity and grief, with their hearts intact and smiles in their eyes. And so being called a faggot is, in fact, a compliment of the highest order.

Additional Information:

This project is fiscally supported by the London Arts Council through the City of London’s Community Arts Investment Program; Exhibition Assistance funding from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario; Explore and Create funding support from the Canada Council for the Arts; and Benedict Creative Communications.

In supporting the next generation of community leaders, Ben Benedict is generously using this opportunity to support the Rainbow Youth Bursary Fund at London Community Foundation that recognize leadership and community contribution among local high school students. Ben has created a Limited Edition of 10 Signed Posters to be sold during the exhibition for $25 each, that will be matched by the artist – along with an additional 10% of artworks sold with all proceeds donated to the Rainbow Youth Bursary Fund.