A new multimedia exhibition opening Oct. 6 at the GLBT History Museum explores the story of OUT/LOOK, a groundbreaking national queer quarterly published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1992. Embracing gender and racial diversity and bridging academic and community perspectives, the magazine developed an avid readership. The show and its associated programs, publication and website are designed to spark intergenerational conversations about the legacy of OUT/LOOK and its era.
Curated by E.G. Crichton, “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” features new works by 38 culture-makers, each asked to find inspiration in one of the 17 issues of the magazine. This diverse group includes writers, visual artists, performers, curators, activists and representatives of two organizations, all belonging to the two generations of queers who have grown up since the five-year lifespan of the magazine.
“The last issue of OUT/LOOK was published 25 years ago, yet people still tell me they miss it,” Crichton says. “Members of younger generations I speak to — including the participants in this project — express surprise that we were already wrangling back then with intersectional identities, marriage equality, the politics of respectability, who decides our tactics for resistance and other contemporary concerns.”
“Walking through the gallery, listening to the audio tour, visitors will be introduced to OUT/LOOK through historical materials and through artists’ and writers’ provocative new responses to the original magazine,” Crichton adds. “They’ll get a taste of innovative queer thinking and the sharp debates in and about the LGBTQ community at a pivotal time in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And they’ll discover lots of links to issues that are very much alive today.”
“OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” opens on October 6, 2017, with a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco. The event will include remarks by the curator. Many of the exhibition contributors will attend, as will founders and editors of OUT/LOOK. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibition runs through January 29, 2018.