Look back in anger and angels

De La Grace Volcano
De La Grace Volcano
Jack’s Back II, De La Grace Volcano

Last year, in the lead up to Chosen Family for Anywhere Theatre Festival, I thought a great deal about the photographs of Catherine Opie.

My mind stayed particularly with her family shots, which have been such a pivotal part of my queer art experiences. Sometimes my thoughts of Opie-lensed family were as heartbreaking and fierce as her self-portrait, sometimes they were every part of humble and divine. I don’t know that Betsy and I created something that seems at all related to these photographs in the poetic sense, but still I wonder if it is of interest to you to see where these things come from. If chosen family looked like something, it would be those photographs.

This year, I am once again lucky enough to be working with Betsy Turcot, this time on Shave and a Haircut.

Looking at themes of masculinity, and in particular the way that same-sex attracted women might experience masculinity, we gave ourselves 30 Days to Learn How to Be a Man. We were disciplined and rational, hard-bodied and tough. Or something like that. We would love for you to attend and have details here, there and everywhere.  Once again, this image translates poorly into what you and yours may eventually experience, but that is of course for you decide.

In the lead up, I have had reoccurring thoughts of Del La Grace’s Jack’s Back, and Jack’s Back II which is featured here in this post. When I look at this image I am filled with a deep sense of desire and failure, confusion and complexity, want and never have. In this image I see the hoop and the knowledge that I will never jump it, and the exquisite pleasure in the suspension between who we are, who we are taught to be, what we would like to be and how ridiculous the whole endeavour is.

Never deny a soul you love.

Because training day is over, Marines.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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