Ian Giles 'Outhouse'
8 October – 20 October 2019
Outhouse’ is a mobile queer space traveling across East Anglia. The transparent walls of the cylindrical structure feature photographs and ephemera related to historic and contemporary LGBTQI+ culture from the East of England.
Earlier this year Ian Giles established Open Ramble East, an inclusive and versatile group of people who organised walks for local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight people. These events were about establishing a space and meeting point for LGBTQI+ individuals and groups across the region. Giles was interested in what it means to be queer in a regional setting and the evolving status of queer people in society.
The installation’s title ‘Outhouse’ is a nod to Outhouse East, a Colchester charity offering support and information to LGBTQI+ people in Essex
Photographs from the public walks held in Cambridge, Colchester, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth are mixed with images of proto-gay couples from seventeenth century Cambridge, queer symbolism and a re-reading of landscape through an LGBTQI+ lens. The installation also features material from the Gay Outdoors Club archive, a national rambling group founded in 1973.
Giles points out that “historically queer lives and achievements have often gone unrecorded within regional settings: this project is part of a wider invitation to correct this”. Pink Is The Strongest Colour; a film presented within the installation, is made from found footage of which only the pink ink has not degraded. The film nods at a lack of preservation of LGBTQI+ objects and narratives.
The Ede Room hosted social gatherings, talks and meetings during normal exhibition hours, open to all visitors, including a talk about collecting LGBTQI+ printed matter by Brooke Sylvia Palmieri.
About Ian Giles
Working in film, performance and events, Ian Giles’s work facilitates social interactions and enables queer histories and contemporary experiences to be seen and celebrated. His recent exhibitions and screenings include: ‘Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag’, presented by Gasworks at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London (2019); ‘After BUTT’, New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York (2018); ‘Video Club: Sex Talks’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018); ‘After BUTT’, Chelsea Space, London (2018); and ‘Connected Works’, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA (2016).
Ian was an inaugural winner of the Shannon Michael Cane Award in 2018 and was a LUX Associate Artist in 2012/13. He completed his MFA at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2012.
Produced by Originalprojects as part of New Geographies
Funded by National Lottery through ACE ambition for excellence