Queer Archive?

A Virtual Activation

June, 2020 /
Online documentary exhibition

The Museo Reina Sofía Library and Documentation Centre is a collection of art archives, a museum within a museum, where the document lives side by side with the artwork, and where history is set forth as multiple and is constantly being re-written. One clear example of this plural and active focus on the concept of the archive is a collaborative project propelled by the Museo entitled Queer Archive?: a document ensemble which, since its creation in 2012, has undergone numerous reactivations, setting out a collective reflection from queer standpoints that question and tauten the traditional notion of archive.       

Continuing along this line of action, and keeping in mind the current pandemic crisis caused by COVID-19, the Museo offers a virtual exhibition via a selection of Queer Archive? materials, taking as its touchstone the activist struggle the queer movement developed in fronting up to the AIDS pandemic at the close of the twentieth century.   

The holdings that make up this ensemble (fanzines, photographs, posters, press cuttings, stickers, manifestos, flyers, audiovisual documents, and so on) give insight into the reception and development of the movement in 1990s Madrid. In this regard, two large collectives came to the fore: La Radical Gai and LSD, both of which managed to grant visibility to their protests, developing spirited activism based on different channels of expression, such as actions in public space, the creation of solid social ties and the use of printed media.   

Unarguably, one of the main demands of these collectives was linked to the fight against the AIDS pandemic and the social awareness-raising in confronting such a deadly disease. Thus, the materials selected for this exhibition suggest certain convergences, parallels and divergencies with the present health emergency, addressing issues such as the fear of infection, unfamiliarity with the illness, stigmatisation of the sick, the blame placed on certain collectives and minorities, the call for social responsibility and the demand for an emphatic and globalised institutional response.    

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Reina Sofía, June 2020