Queer-ish: Photography and the LGBTQ+ Imaginary

October 28–December 15, 2023


Curated by interdisciplinary artist and Scripps College Fletcher Jones Chair in Art Ken Gonzales-Day, Queer-ish showcases almost 100 historic vernacular photographs highlighting moments of same-sex affection alongside almost 40 contemporary photographs by LGBTQ+ artists. These images encourage viewers to consider the link between photography, representation, and LGBTQ+ communities, as well as the role of the photograph in shaping notions of queer identity.

Queer-ish highlights Gonzales-Day’s personal collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century vernacular photographs—snapshots of everyday life and subjects—depicting people who may have identified as LGBTQ+.  Organized thematically, the exhibition explores the relationship between photography and what Gonzales-Day calls the “queer imaginary,” a critical space he describes as “exploratory, precarious, celebratory, potentially unseen and subject to change.”

The exhibition includes works by Laura Aguilar, Bruce of Los Angeles, Rick Castro, Claude Cahun, Tammy Rae Carland, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Naima Green, John K. Hillers, Taizo Kato, Bob Mizer, Pierre Molinier, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Catherine Opie, Marcel Pardo Ariza, Pau S. Pescador, George Quaintance, Pacifico Silano, Annie Sprinkle, Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, and Austin Young. It will also highlight works by Scripps alums Ohan Breiding ’06 and Molly Landreth ’01, as well as by Gonzales-Day.

In conjunction with the exhibition, join us for these exciting programs:

Opening Reception
Saturday, October 28
5–7 PM | Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery

“Shaping the Queer Imaginary”
Gallery Talk + Tour with Professor Ken Gonzales-Day 
Wednesday, November 8
4 PM | Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery

All Gallery programming is free and open to the public.