The Quintessentially Queer Art of Collage

Written by Zachary Small


Art historians may contend that it was Dada that brought collage into the Western canon. Specifically, it was the German Dadaist Hannah Höch who popularized photomontage as a means to access the subconscious, political, and absurd. But few art historical surveys of photomontage (or more broadly collage) have considered the medium to be a quintessentially queer art form.

The act of collaging can be a passive and even violent affair — the slicing of limbs, the composing of Frankensteinian faces — yet queer artists have continually turned to the technique for its ability to recast that violence by rearranging symbols of aggressive hypermasculinity into scenes of same-sex tenderness, providing a rare glimpse into the paradoxical softness of roughness. Central to the queer practice of collage is the construction of new worlds and identities, the outward use of a violent action to protect a vulnerable inner life. READ MORE

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