4-channel, 4k video installation (colour, sound), soccer balls and training cones
9 x 16 format, 12:46 | 2022
As an activity common to all cultures, singing is both everyday and extraordinary, but for those of us who are bad singers, singing is fraught with insecurity, worry and shame. Building on my autoethnographic investments in vulnerability, failure and repair, Quantum Choir is a four-channel video installation that reflects on the vulnerability of learning to sing as a way of exploring the legibility, precarity, and affinity of contemporary queer female masculinity. My feelings about my inability to sing are queer feelings, and they sit alongside the anxieties and tensions of a lifelong masculinity situated within and amongst larger cultural conversations about new critiques of patriarchy, toxic masculinity, and increasing gender variation. These shifts have brought new pressures to bear on masculine gender identities, and new frictions within queer communities as our masculinities continue to evolve and diversify.
Set in a custom architectural structure in the centre of a large gallery space, the video installation brings me together with three other participants to work through the grief of being a bad singer. Following weeks of voice lessons with a vocal coach, we collaboratively construct a performance for the camera, progressing from initial vocal warm-ups right through to singing the pop song, Queen of Denmark by the queer artist, John Grant. As in previous works, here I use performative gestures and repetition across the four screens to construct a video choir that harnesses queer kinship and intimacy to navigate a complex mix of privilege, oppression, power and invisibility.
Installation Photos (Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2022): Yuula Benivolski