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Del LaGrace Volcano: A Mid-Career Retrospective

Submitted by on Thursday, 12 March 2009No Comment

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St at Grand St, NYC, 212-431-2609, Through November 11,

At once photographer and photographic subject, Del LaGrace Volcano’s art consistently refuses “either/or” categories in favor of “both/and.” His/her art asks the kinds of questions that make their answers provisional and even irrelevant, because the truth is in the asking.Using the body and its signs of identification, Volcano’s work plays with and against constructions of gender, sexuality, and race, and recasts embodiment as a creative exercise of will power rather than a brute fact of nature. Volcano deploys his/her intersex gender as a provocation to the traditionally binary gender norm, recognizing that for many, the question of gender, like that of sexuality or race, is not an either/or equation. As the artist admits, “My intention is to explode the notion of the truthful body… Although we all know that the relationship between a photograph and the truth is unreliable at best, we still want to believe what our eyes tell us.” This is the first museum retrospective of Del LaGrace Volcano’s art in the country of his/her birth. It is both an exercise in creative asking, a manifesto against “nature,” and testimony to art’s extraordinary power to create new worlds in which we would want to live.



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