Lucía Egaña presents “The queer art of failure” by Jack Halberstam


The artist in residence Lucía Egaña presents at MACBA, as part of the activations of the Archivo Desencajado “The Queer Art of Failure”. The presentation of the book will be in the presence of the author, Jack Halberstam, as well as his Spanish translator, Javier Sáez.

The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press Books, 2011) takes examples from popular culture—animated films, comics, etc.—and feminist art to explain that failure, in the sense of failing to fit into successful social or gender norms or heteronormative frameworks, isn’t actually so bad after all. In fact, it sparks creativity and lets us live in less heterocentric or ciscentric ways, free from the pressure of the imported American ideology of success at all costs.

Halberstam has a rare knack for discovering politically uncomfortable spaces and situations. We see it in the complex and subtle chapter on the ties between homosexuality and the Nazi regime, or the chapter on the radical passivity in certain kinds of sex between women. The book also has a racial focus: the United States’ racist, slave-owning past has had effects on today’s sexualities, even though it is usually left outside the main LGBT movement.


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