The Queer Feeling of Tomorrow explored themes of doubt, resilience, and political agency through the work of six contemporary artists: Sunil Gupta (London UK), John Hanning (Brooklyn NY), Shan Kelley (Montreal), Julia Martin (Ottawa), David Poolman (Toronto) and Laurel Woodcock (Toronto).
The Queer Feeling of Tomorrow suggested the playful uncertainty of our personal and political futures in a supposedly “post AIDS” historical moment. The exhibition expressed a double play of optimism and irony, tracing a spirit of life affirmation that is at the same time a form of restless doubt. It also presented a shift in art practice away from the demonstrative and the spectacular, in effort to locate the complex and oftentimes inexplicable excesses of identity and community within the everyday.
A two-day workshop led by Guelph artist/educator Pearl Van Geest engaged local LGBT+ teens in a local writing project titled Queer Futures. The workshop explored the idea of “futurity” with respect to the art works in the exhibition.
The exhibition was curated by Adam Barbu, winner of the 3rd annual Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. The first of its kind in Canada, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity and connectedness in a time of unprecedented economic, environmental, social, and cultural challenges.
The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is funded by the Centre Wellington Community Foundation’s Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, the Guelph Community Foundation’s Musagetes Fund, with support from John and Miranda Kissick.
The Art Gallery of Guelph and its sponsors — University of Guelph, City of Guelph, and the Upper Grand District School Board — acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.