Hyperallergic Reviews NIGHT by Etel Adnan

The danger of overusing the word “queer,” Goldberg argues, is that it upends its very intention to resist definition, while depoliticizing it and placing incredibly limiting boundaries around the expansive space “queer” purports to be. For instance, there’s been an increasing use of “queer” as a kind of disclaimer for one’s positionality in the world. As a result, the category has been overgeneralized for a group of people with divergent, specific sexual practices and gender expressions (...)

Just as interesting as attending to the proliferation of works and events tagged “queer,” Goldberg also takes note of “the palpable silences around events that could have used the word ‘queer’ as a descriptor, but didn’t,” usually when race or multiple subjectivities enter the mix alongside gender and sexuality. Goldberg’s collection of press releases, flyers, and postcards reveal who, when, and how one is tagged with “queer” — almost as metadata that structures where content circulates IRL and in the invisible cloud of capitalism (...)

Goldberg’s critique is multipronged and, as such, revels in an ambivalence that is refreshing for acknowledging how the questions at stake are complicated. Maintaining this ambivalence is a difficult feat that Goldberg does well. To come to a more direct point, would be, well, too phallic an approach. There are no easy answers as the stakes of visibility are intertwined with cooptation. (...) -- Risa Puleo