bad 2 the bone
June - September 2023
We are QSO (Queer Soft Orange), a collective of Queer artist-practitioners that have been gathering, collaborating, supporting each other, and fostering community over the past several years. We locate the collective radiating from South-Western Ontario, expanding outwards, inter-regionally, and beyond through an acute engagement with the Internet. In a digital commons, we share our resources, create reading lists, collaborate on art and curatorial projects, and host peer-based online studio visits and community mentorship. QSO is a collective born from necessity, an urgency to build and maintain connection within Queer community by creating public outputs and outreach to the communities we serve, while our physical spaces are threatened and shrinking. Towards this work, we recently issued our manifesto, published in Femme Art Review #2 (London, ON, 2022), and Not Just a Collective’s Not Just A Library Book Fair (Arnhem Netherlands, 2022).
QSO is an ongoing love letter between ourselves and our understandings of contemporary Queer knowledge and experiences, that engages our histories, and our dreamed futures. Forming QSO has allowed us to stay connected, not only with each other but to the communities we care about: connecting emergent queer art and visual culture past, present, and future. Sharing our work and our research beyond our collective is about reciprocity, extending our community resources and connecting to other generations of Queer artists. Finding shared terrain across generations is vital to our goals as a collective, engaged in archiving our Queer-now.
Project by: Adrien Crossman, Maddie Alexander, Luke Maddaford, Tyler Matheson, Morris Fox, Dana Buzzee.
Documentation courtesy of Alison Postma & Tyler Matheson
QueerSoftOrange (QSO) turns the plumb bar into a gay bar, deco-jamming the space with queer event posters, ephemera, archival and queer community resources—think disco inferno meets the gay student league meets a basement queer zine swap. We extend this decorative intervention beyond the bar to other spaces in the gallery, like the bookshelf, corridors, and washroom, to create a sense of longing for a time past and past-time. QSO’s installation, Bad 2 the Bone, arouses our longing for a space that doesn't exist, recalls the sensation of being in a gay bar, tethered to decor, atmosphere, and social interactions.
The reception for Bad 2 the Bone is a one-night-only gay dance party on June 23rd, our love letter to all the queer bars past, missing the contours and feelings of ex-lovers, sites of intimacy, chasing a spectral feeling. For one night only, guests are entangled with the history of Queer Toronto nightlife. Re-enacting queer space honours the precariousness of physical places for and by queer communities in Toronto and beyond. Together, we perform acts of desire, longing for all we wish these spaces were, dancing forward and haunted by the past, not looking for gay ghosts, but the feeling that you've arrived to the party late.
The ArQuives, Craig Jennex, Eric Kostiuk Williams, The Beaver, Steer & Queers, Michael Comeau, Oliver Husain, Jess Dobkin, Dyke Nite, Zab Design & Typography, Lisa Kiss, Emmy Tran, Mitch Duncan, Jeremy Laing, Blake Mawson, Todd Westendorp, Traxx and Feels, Morgane Dieudonné, Meg Fox, Leonidas “Zellers” Armstrong-DeJongh, HVN, Que’d up, CHAPSTICK Toronto, About Last Night, TOASTR, Queer Night Out Guelph, Lina Wu, Strapped TO, Rude Collective, OMG blog, Yohomo, Her, Big Primpin*, Buddies in Bad Times, and many more. QueerSoftOrange acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council.