BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art
presents Queer Interiors, a multimedia installation that explores facets of domestic life experienced by LGBTQI+ communities. It was created by Baltimore-based artists Rahne Alexander and Jaimes Mayhew working in conjunction with Chase Brexton Health Cares LGBT Health Resource Center. The installation is on view in the Commons gallery adjacent to the Imagining Home exhibition in the BMAs Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center from September 18, 2016 through August 2017. The only other major museum to feature an installation by transgender artists is the Whitney Museum of American Art.
On behalf of the BMA, Im pleased to welcome this groundbreaking project that reflects everyday domesticity while highlighting the diversity of the Baltimore LGBTQI+ community, said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. We hope that Jaimes and Rahnes inviting installation in the Commons will help to welcome all of Baltimores communities to the BMA and act as a site for conversation on how our homes reflect our personal and social identities.
We are absolutely thrilled to see the work that is emerging from both the artists as well as the community, said Nate Sweeney, executive director of Chase Brexton Health Cares LGBT Health Resource Center. We know that for so many in the LGBT community, the arts have played and will continue to play a central role in peoples health and wellbeing. Health and wellness are more than taking pills, and the healing power of expression and importance of belonging are highlighted beautifully by this installation.
Queer Interiors is part of the BMAs Commons Collaboration initiative, which commissions an artist and non-profit to work together on an installation and offer a series of public programs related to Imagining Home. The project conceived and produced by Alexander and Mayhew is comprised of a larger-than-life bed, shelving and other furnishings, personal artifacts, and a multimedia wall quilt known as the Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt. This component of the installation pays homage to Baltimore album quilts and the AIDS Quilt, with the aim of presenting a crowd-sourced multimedia portrait of the citys LGBTQI+ communities.
During the course of the year-long installation, the décor of the bed, personal artifacts, and domestic scenes projected on the quilt will change periodically to better portray the multiple facets of the LGBTQI+ population including many underrepresented communities. The artists will work with individuals from these communities to select personal artifacts for each change. Photographs and home video content will be crowdsourced.
Rahne Alexander is a video artist, musician, and performer. Her film and video art has been screened in galleries and festivals across the country, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, MIX (NYC), Freewaves (LA), Homoscope (Austin) and Cinekink (NYC) and she is an alumna of the Experimental Television Center residency program. Rahne was featured in the 2010 documentary feature Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance, and she performs frequently with several bands, including Santa Librada, Guided By Wire and The Degenerettes. She is a former curator/organizer of Baltimore's avant-garde Transmodern Festival and the long-running, award-winning queer cabaret Charm City Kitty Club. From 2011-2015, Rahne was in charge of operations and development for the Maryland Film Festival.
Jaimes Mayhew is an internationally exhibited interdisciplinary artist and arts organizer. He has worked both independently and collaboratively on research-based socially engaged projects. Mayhews recent project, Samesies Island, explores the possibility of an imaginary separatist island built by and for transmen, and is collaboratively produced with input from other transgender men. He has collaborated with such notable groups as the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, a Boston-based art research collective, and The Museum of Transitory Art, a Slovenian artist collective. In 2012, Mayhew collaborated with Kristen Anchor to produce a two-part exhibition featuring queer Icelandic and American artists that was exhibited in Reykjavik and Baltimore. As a solo artist, Mayhew has received funding for projects from The Fulbright Commission of Iceland, Provisions Library (DC) and The Maryland State Arts Council.