Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.02.00 PM“Queer means odd or strange. Queer is a term of political solidarity for all who are not heterosexual, monogamous, and obedient. Queer is a political and aesthetic strategy of disruption and disobedience. Queer is an attitude towards the body, especially its sex and gender, and how that body is or is not compliant with social norms and rules. Queer is shameless embodiment of abject, animal, monster, cyborg, feminist, or homosexual. Queer is an alchemical detournement of insult and slander, of violence and rejection. Queer embraces social disruption in favour of sexual liberation, and that includes in the theatre, as well as in the streets, the family, the school and beyond. When queer is dangerous it also transgresses ethnic, racial, and national borders. Queer performance is a utopian fantasia. It fails, but it fails fabulously.”

— Keith Hennessy

This quote from Hennessy is an introduction to the word “queer” as a possibility. Queer can be an identity, a strategy, and an alternative economy. Queer can be a failure, a word that is just as slippery and expansive when we think about the way performance fails us, the way words fail us, the way the world fails us.

Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero recently brought the performance Turbulence: A dance about the economy to Velocity Dance Center this past September. This work not only inspired the STANCE focus, but the subject matter of the first Velocity Open For(u)m, ART + FAILURE A week of performances, book club events, workshops and discussions revolving around queerness, failure and the economy. You’ll find a variety of responses to these events on STANCE.

Some contributors responded directly to Turbulence, others think at the intersection of art and money. Some explore what the term queer means to them. In the STANCE Quick Draw section artists explore the way queerness and failure relate to their own personal process and vision.

I hope you enjoy exploring this tricky terrain.

Syniva Whitney



Thoughts on turbulence without the pressure of landing

Together // a chapter from Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s new book

About Being a Queer Artist

Economy with Intent


How does the idea of queerness relate to your work and process?

How do you define queer? Does failure drive your work?

How do the words queer and failure relate to your process?

How does the idea of failure relate to your artistic process?

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