Ray Cook - 'if you can’t say something nice about anyone, come sit next to me'

Wednesday 17 - Sunday 28 January 2018

Midsumma Festival 2018

Three decades of queer observations in photographs by Ray Cook

This exhibition represents 30 years of reflection on shifting realities of queer life, from AIDS to Glee, from stigma to legitimacy. The images are the results of VB fuelled performances in share houses, garages and makeshift studios in inner city Brisbane. Ray Cook is known for dark, ironic, allegorical tableaux photographs. Often bittersweet observations that use humour and pathos to put human flesh on dry historical bones.

I played dress ups with my friends and we performed for the camera, we made costumes and props from whatever was at hand. Making pictures has been a way of thinking, of understanding experience as it unfolds.

While these images chronicle specific subcultures they also speak of broadly shared histories. Histories all too often whitewashed or erased as LGBTQIA+ culture has entered the mainstream.