“Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America” seeks to connect individuals around the country in rural and urban areas and highlight a national experience in its many diverse parts.
It is based on a road trip between the two artists, Molly Landreth and Amelia Tovey, in search of individuals who would speak for themselves about what it means to be queer right now. The new art exhibition at the Poudre Arts Center in Fort Collins includes 80 photographs and 18 short films about queer life throughout America.
Landreth, a Seattle based artist, has been working on this project for six years and teamed up with Amelia Tovey in 2009 to incorporate some of her photos into short films.
â€œThe films were the result of footage from the photo sessions and interviews. I wanted to incorporate the videos to give voice to the people that I was photographing,â€ she said.
Landreth traveled around the country to both urban and rural locations to give a different perspective of queer life rather than those in the cities.
â€œI wanted to show that queer life exists everywhere,â€ she said. â€œThe photographs in the show represent just a fraction of the archive.â€
The inspiration for â€œEmbodimentâ€ came from Landrethâ€™s desire to see the representations of the queer community that pushed beyond the common media stereotypes. She wanted to portray the individuals in their daily lives and she wanted to portray a beautiful, complex and bold portrait of queer life in America.
â€œI ask them to wear something that is representative of whom they are or want to be – and to take me somewhere that will provide an interesting backdrop to their lives,â€ Landreth said.
Landreth was invited by Hamidah Glasgow, the executive director of The Center for Fine Art Photography at the Poudre Arts Center to present her exhibition to the Fort Collins community.
â€œI hope that if people go into the exhibition thinking that there is such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’ that they would be questioning exactly what that would look like after the show,â€ she said.
Landreth said the inspiration for the title and the theme for â€œEmbodimentâ€ after reading “In a Queer Time and Place” by Judith Halberstam. The writing really resonated with what she was trying to portray.
After viewing the exhibition, Landreth hopes that the Fort Collins community will see that life is surprising, creative and complex and that you are not alone.
â€œMy work is about love, not only for your partner, community or family, but also for oneâ€™s self, and I hope that’s what people take from it,â€ Landreth said. â€œThe journey from idea to completion and all of the mini-adventures that have gone on in the meantime have ushered me into adulthood and given me the best education and rewarding experiences of my life.â€