Modernities: Architecture, Design, Theory, The Research Forum, at The Courtauld presents:
Gay Bar: A Dig Beneath The Disco
Thu, 22 April 2021
17:30 – 18:30 BST
Organised by Dr Robin Schuldenfrei – Katja and Nicolai Tangen Senior Lecturer in 20th Century Modernism, The Courtauld and Dr Tom Wilkinson – Lecturer in the History of Art, The Courtauld
Jeremy Atherton Lin explores queer identities through manufactured objects and the built environment. Working from the idea that identity is not only inscribed on our bodies, but articulated through the places we inhabit, his book Gay Bar: Why We Went Out looks back on venues where he’s hung out himself to consider the boundaries of a fixed identity, exclusion within a subculture, the paradox of community within a commercial sphere, and the tension between visibility and secrecy. Seeking a lineage of gay culture while alert to the ahistoricism this quest often elicits, the author details his own experiences, but also traces back to 1970s Hollywood discos and earlier still to cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s. Each site reveals itself as a palimpsest of queer rumours and suggestions. Through toponymy, legal opinions, police reports and listing applications, as well as discursive forays into literature and pop culture, the book excavates these sites to use as case studies into the various ways that gay populations have played complex roles in transforming the urban landscape. This lecture examines buildings drawn from the book to delineate the research methodologies used in such a subjective archaeology.
Gay Bar Galaxy – A Zoom Pub Crawl
8pm – 9pm GMT | 18 November 2020
Live via Zoom
Amelia Abraham / Jeremy Atherton Lin / Ian Giles / Richard John Jones
“Perhaps you could call a gay bar a galaxy: we are held together but kept from colliding by a fine balance of momentum and gravity.” Jeremy Atherton Lin
A virtual tour of aughties Shoreditch from the comfort of your own home – We will start the night in outer space before plunging down into the jukebox at the Nelson’s Head then sloping off to grab a Becks at the George & Dragon. As the night rolls on we will all head up Hackney Road to the Joiners Arms. Will we make it to East Bloc? There’s always Chariots…
Skip through time with the aid of Google Street View, lots of queer East End lore, and tracks by Rhianna and CSS…
An all-nighter in 60 minutes.
Guided by the artist Ian Giles, we will dip in and out of Jeremy Atherton Lin’s forthcoming book Gay Bar and screen Giles’ film Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag. With special contributions from Queer Intentions author Amelia Abraham and Zoom Backgrounds by artist Richard John Jones.
The event marks the month–long online screening of Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag, hosted on iangiles.co.uk November 18 – December 18. The film was funded by Arts Council England.
Free to attend – please register via Outsavy to receive the Zoom link and to download Richard John Jones’s festive event backgrounds.