Queer Arts Festival

Queer Arts Festival 2020: WICKED

“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.”

Oscar Wilde

This past decade has seen the mainstreaming of gay; sexual difference wins approval so long as it is palatable, marketable, and doesn’t stray too far from bourgeois notions of taste and morality. Our 2020 theme Wicked reimagines identity politics, exposing the implications of homonormativity as erasure. The commodification of queer experience is inextricably linked to the pathologization of the queer body, where medical and sociological interventions adjudicate which anatomies and passions are accepted as authentic. What do we lose—who do we lose—if we accept induction into the dominant order, and reframe ourselves as a “moral minority”?

There’s no place like home for the Wicked Witch of the West, green by devilment and through her magical aberrance. QAF 2020 forsakes the yellow brick road that leads only to a man behind a curtain gentrifying our desires. Instead, for 11 days of visual art, performance, theatre, music, dance and literary events, we invite you to revel in the quintessentially queer traditions of scandal and excess. 

Highlights include Jonny Sopotiuk’s visual arts curation; choreographer Noam Gagnon’s raucously vulnerable biographical exploration of madness, This Crazy Show; a decolonized reframing of Annea Lockwood’s rarely performed classic Piano Burning in partnership with Full Circle First Nations Performance; and Leaving Kansas, a community-engaged participatory concert from Jerry Pergolesi and Louise Campbell.