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Tommaso Speretta

From the Logic of the Lure to the Force of the Erotic: Cruising a Personal AIDS Video Archive From a Curatorial Perspective

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ISBN: 9798321789629

The book unfolds against the presence of an absence, a certain ghost or spectre that has permeated the research: a decade of experimental and independent AIDS moving images that the author have metaphorically cruised as an experiment in building alternative knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Within this context, Tommaso Speretta argues for the unrepresentability of HIV/AIDS and for the failure of the logics of representation arising from the advent of AIDS to “speak” the unspeakable.

In its incessant entanglement of the personal with the theoretical, the research has been conducted by means of a methodology that the author defines promiscuous. “How can we transform the epistemological ground into a cruising ground?” Speretta asks. The book invites the reader to consider the potential outcomes of a promiscuous research methodology that shape the experience of knowledge production not in the direction of a unitary, stable, and ultimate, therefore hegemonic, intellectual achievement but, to the contrary, towards a site of difference, of all forms of becoming.

Applied to the curatorial field, Speretta advances the following questions: Can cruising and the queer experience of sexual promiscuity be used as a research method? Can the curatorial be a place to perform promiscuity as a way to escape the normalising discourse perpetuated by society and problematise the trajectories imposed by art history? Framed in this light, the curatorial becomes a space of appearance that embraces the uncertainty, the risk, the atemporality, and the obliqueness of an experience of cruising. In so doing, it seeks to create the conditions for multiple subjectivities to emerge and co-exist; in other words, for being in common with no need to strictly embrace any condition of belonging.

Tommaso Speretta is an independent curator and writer. He is the author of Rebels Rebel. AIDS, Art and Activism in New York, 1979–1989 (Ghent: MER, Paper Kunsthalle, 2014).

Photo credit cover image: Mattia Alfieri


Published by OnCurating.org

This publication is mainly based on the dissertation as part of the PhD in Practice in Curating Program, a joint doctoral program of the Zurich University
of the Arts and the University of Reading, supported by “swissuniversities.”

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