Of Other Spaces, 2022- Ongoing

Of Other Spaces, a two-channel video work, juxtaposes the architecture of the TWA Hotel in Brooklyn, New York, with the Nevele Grande Hotel in the Catskills of upstate New York. The TWA Hotel is a meticulously renovated, contemporary monument to 1960s American ideals of the nuclear family, capitalism, travel, and leisure. The Nevele Grande Hotel is a long abandoned and derelict “family” resort. These two similar architectures, completed only years apart in the early 1960s, merge at the center of the frame to create the semblance of a “new whole.” What is made evident by this joining of the two venues is the continual reinvestment, fetishism, and persistence of the white, heteronormative values of the 50s and 60s in contemporary American culture. The decay of one space is refurbished and restored in the partner channel, making visible this manufactured loop of culture. Between these two spaces, a queer figure dressed in a suit resembling an entertainer, waiter, or Lounge Lizard, dances, drifts, and interrupts, never fitting in nor settling in either venue. The figure is both visually mimicking and yet at odds with their environment in much the same way queer subjectivities disidentify and are not reflected in the communities these architectures represent.

Through this embodied exploration of liminal and heterotopic spaces as studies of cultural production, Of Other Spaces examines these edifices of heteronormativity whose ethics of community decay while their insistence on their outdated values persists. The video comments on the ruptures of and the need for a redefinition of social connections. Pointing forward, the pieces hope to posit new sites of resistance by making visible the decay and alienation of these structures by imagining inclusionary futures. 

Produced by, Andrea Merkx
Cinematography by, Andrea Merkx, Jess Bennet
Editing by Andrea Merkx, Laine Rettmer
Sound by, Mike Flannery
Foley by, Max Adolf

This work was supported by an invited residency at the Vermont Studio Center

Exhibitions 2022/2023:

-CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain
-Freedoms Found and Made, Wonzimer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
-Period, Massachusetts Now, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA
-QUEERwekrs, curated by Stamatina Gregory, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT