Anthea Black

Queer Survival Campout Snowcave

Work in Exhibition:
Title: Queer Survival Campout Snowcave, 2011
Dimensions: dimensions variable
Medium: HD video, 9:23 minutes

Queer Survival Campout Snowcave documents a queer gathering in a quinzee, which is a DIY structure made from a big pile of snow that is hollowed out to make a cave and sometimes used for winter survival and shelter.

Snow occupies an important place in the Northern and Canadian imagination as a benevolent, insulating and feminizing part of the landscape. A set of custom "Liberation Suits" constructed from recycled sweaters are worn in the cave to reclaim the feminist history of the one-piece long underwear that has since become synonymous with winter outdoorsmen. 

The handmade “liberation suits,” textile objects and artworks that appear in the Snowcave are scavenged, solicited, collected and appropriated for use as totemic reminders of the live presence of their makers, members of a queer/feminist art community that could never be unified in one geographic location. When these textiles form the insulating layer between our bodies and the outdoors, they form other bodies: a body of work that represents the labour, the production and the bodies of several other artists, and when covering us, they unite our own bodies in a much broader collaborative fabric. Snowcave interrogates these kinds of collaborative relationships and dependence on queer community, gathers resources for what can be described as creative or cultural “survival”, and attempts to site queerness in relation to a geographical location, however fantastical. 

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