In «Queer Sells» the duo White on White reveals the secret recipe of their future success on the art-market: presenting a sophisticated montage of signifiers of the mainstream with signifiers of a possible minority-status. In their case, a «pinkwashing» of their trademark into a strategic combination of Whiteness and Queerness.
* White on White will also hold a lecture at Trondheim Art Academy Wednesday 25 March at 11:00
«Queer sells» works on the assumption that language is the ultimate signifier of reality: what I say is who I am. Working in the theatre space, a sphere that traditionally produces temporary realities through speech, White on White take their specific medial turn on the question: Is there any way to make a performative utterance on stage that transgresses the temporality of the theatre space?
In «Queer sells» White on White researches on the latest, most sophisticated strategies through which WHITE subjects maintain their power position and succeed in dissimulating their identity as winners of the globalized world.
The attempted pinkwashing of their company follows the example of power’s contemporary grammatics: «Yes, I am the president of the United States and male – but I’m also black». Or «yes, I am the chancellor of one of the most powerful countries in Europe and white – but I’m also a woman», are the speech acts wedded to the future consistency of power.
But how do statements in the social sphere work that do not relate to the appearance of the utterer? Why can Göran Persson claim to be a feminist and what privileges can be gained from such a move?
As Judith Butler put it: «a certain comedy emerges when ’queer’ becomes so utterly disjoined from sexual practice that every well-meaning heterosexual takes on the term.» In this project, White on White embraces the comical genre, by presenting a queer performance duo consisting of two straight white males.
Whilst their last piece, «White on White #5 – All those beautiful boyz», took the discourse of visibility to a level where the eye could figure as the unfailing sense to create order, «Queer Sells» works on the contradictory assumption, claiming language to be the ultimate signifier of reality: what I say, is who I am.
Working in the theatre space, a sphere that traditionally produces temporary realities – exactly through speech – White on White take their specific medial turn on the question: Is there any way to make a performative utterance on stage that transgresses the temporality of the theatre space?