The City Lights Gallery’s SameSex show is about halfway through its run. So far, so good. I have small issues with the media coverage, even from my own newspaper, but all in all the attention has been well meaning and positive. I’m glad there are blogs to offer alternative coverage.
I don’t think it’s gay content that has people unclear on what to say about this show. It’s the sexual content in general. Yes, there are some fairly explicit, edgy pieces on display. I would expect SameSex to have some balls, in every sense of the word.
I was invited to chime in as part of the jury, and I came up with the name for the exhibit. I was relieved when at the 11th hour, a rush of artists applied for inclusion.
When it was in planning stages, the show could have gone in any direction. It was all in the hands of artists who responded to the gallery’s call. And if the show tried too hard to “reach out” or “educate,” it risked losing its power. And if shock value or titillation became the main objective, the show lost meaning. The jury also had to balance male/female/androgynous images. The gallery is only so big, and we needed room for so many voices.
The best of the show is audacious and thought-provoking. It’s really the best show City Lights lights has mounted in a long time.