John Howard

Cruising Ground, St. Valentine’s Day
C-print on aluminum
20 x 30”
2010
Work in Exhibition:

Cruising Ground, St. Valentine’s Day
C-print on aluminum
20 x 30”
2010
(Close-up. Gallery view; middle image)

Cruising Ground, Christmas Day
C-print on aluminum
20 x 30”
2009
(Gallery view; left)

Cruising Ground, New Year’s Eve
C-print on aluminum
20 x 30”
2009
(Gallery view; right)

Cruising Ground examines sedimented queer space – contested, claimed, hard fought, maintained. For decades, men have crafted a culture of recreational sex on a one-half square-mile Andalucian landscape between Malaga and Torremolinos, resilient against the forces of development. Flat and sparsely-vegetated – bounded by a golf course to the south, suburb to the north, highway to the west, and coastline to the east – the tract is not a public park re-appropriated late at night. Rather, it is a 24/7 sex scene situated on underutilized private property, the urban planners thwarted by the discovery of Roman ruins. With a conceptual link to historical archaeology and a focus on material detritus, the project exults in orgasm and its remains. It sifts queer debris and excavates queer remnants to commemorate the dangerous pleasures of dissident sexualities over time. With further reference to the Gregorian calendar and Catholic saints, the photographs – shot on widely-recognized holidays – are offered as praise for the unorthodox, a blessing on the lapsed, and an affirmation of alternative practices over established traditions.

- John Howard