Current Show

curated by [Working Title] and Patrick Brennan
2 Linden St, Harvard Sq in Cambridge, MA 02138
June 1st - July 4th, 2024

Submit your Work to          MARGINALIA Digital Mailbox    

Behind VA Shadows is pleased to present the group exhibition MARGINALIA during pride month, featuring works by artists Davit Botch, Patrick Brennan, Kenn Crestwell, Bugworld, Jack Gruman, Emma Hartl, Janella Mele, Jack Poole, Bill Restivo, Solon Perry, Jack Poole, Danielle Richard, O Staples, and Z Watts, on view from June 1 to July 4, 2024. Guest-curated by [Working Title] and Patrick Brennan, the exhibition showcases artworks by queer/trans-identifying arts workers. “MARGINALIA” stems from marginal notes and embellishments in medieval books and extends to the nonessential items in our daily lives; the exhibition brings forth a group of artists whose works reflect on this shared commonality between non-utilitarian objects and identity formation. Through a rich array of media, MARGINALIA provides a queer lens in investigating everyday objects.

[Working Title] is a Boston-based queer literary and performance series that provides a platform for emerging artists and writers to share their works at different pop-up occasions in the Boston area. In this exhibition, L Scully and Zofia Provizer from [Working Title] collaborate with Brennan, an early organizer of Behind VA Shadows. Informed by the conceptual framework of queerness, the exhibition seeks to bring together diverse forms of art. MARGINALIA is a collective effort of revealing the vibrant and talented queer community in the Boston art scene.

Inspired by the corridor-like gallery space, MARGINALIA unfolds its narrative by filling an empty space with nonessential things and, in turn, occupying the space with their marginality. The entrance welcomes viewers with untitled, a pair of glittered boots, by Watts; along with Hartl’s Horse Shoe Crab Shoe, the function of shoes is deployed and pedestaled yet alluding to a domestic environment.

 As viewers progress to the following space, the exhibition morphs into a cozy living room setting: Gruman’s video work project through TV screens, while Mele and Botch’s works take up the wall space in a decorative salon style.

Entering into the last window, a sense of intimacy permeates. Brennan’s sculpture work consists of a bookcase in which found objects once regarded as trash are merged to create new meanings, a deeply personal form of journaling documentation. In Lean, Richard constructs a new table structure with twisted legs; through the intervention, the table is precariously balanced on the pedestal, animating a non-conventional form. Perry’s  untitled further subverts the relationship between the urinal and the body and, at the same time, illuminates the regulating power relation. The exhibition becomes a process of turning what is seemingly misplaced into an intentional way of resisting by the marginal subjects.

Taking up space with nonessential objects in a gallery space serves as an allegory to the queer experiences of navigating through different realms of life. As indicated by the curators, the exhibition is an invitation for the artists to express and imagine themselves without boundaries. The exhibition will conclude with a block party on June 22, 2024, to present a series of performance and artmaking activities, seeking to engage with the public on multiple levels.

Text by Nemo Xu