Joseph Liatela
VITAL RESPONSE
Single Channel Video, 4:23 minutes

VITAL RESPONSE was filmed in New York City’s oldest gay bar, Julius, during the coronavirus pandemic. Dedicated to José Esteban Muñoz’s essay “Stages: Queers, Punks, and the Utopian Performative” in which he describes the empty gay bar stage as a utopic space embued with queer potentiality, this work investigates how we may choose to re-enter, re-configure, and re-imagine these necessary spaces of queer world making and collective movement. In our paradoxical moment of increased visibility of TLGBQIA+ people and heightened transphobic and racial violence, VITAL RESPONSE explores notions of surveillance, visibility, and glitches, while posing the question--how will we choose to gather once it is safe to dance together once more?

JOSEPH LIATELA is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Using sculpture, performance, and video, he examines issues of biopolitics, institutional power, queer subjectivity, surveillence, collective movement, and embodiment. He has exhibited at Denniston Hill, LACE, Human Resources Los Angeles, Field Projects, Monmouth Museum, BRIC, EFA Project Space, Stellar Projects, The Leslie Lohman Museum and PS122 Gallery, among others. He is currently an MFA candidate in New Genres at Columbia University.

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