“You know it pisses you off, because like today, everything is so open and accepted and equal. Women, everyone goes to where they wear slacks, and I could just kick myself in the ass, because of all the opportunities I had that I had to let go because of my way. That if I was able to dress the way I wanted and everything like that I, Christ, I’d have it made, really. Makes you sick. And you look at the young people today that are gay and they’re financially well-off, they got tremendous jobs, something that we couldn’t take advantage of, couldn’t have it. It leaves you with a lot of bitterness too. I don’t go around to the gay bars much any more. It’s not jealousy, it’s bitterness. And I see these young people, doesn’t matter which way they go, whatever the mood suits them, got tremendous jobs, and you just look at them, you know, they’re happy kids, no problems. You say ‘God damn it, why couldn’t I have that?’ And you actually get bitter, you don’t even want to know them. I don’t anyway. ‘Cause I don’t want to hear about it, don’t tell me your success. Like we were talking abut archives, you know where mine is, scratched on a shit-house wall, that’s where it is. And all the dives in Buffalo that are still standing with my name. That’s it, that’s all I got to show.” Kennedy, Elizabeth L., and Madeline D. Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. Penguin Books, New York, 1994.
Ribboned text excerpted from an English translation of Monique Wittig’s The Lesbian Body scrolls across a series of panels whose scale and installation follow the conventions of urinal dividers. Reading Wittig’s text requires an enmeshed viewer to adopt a sidewards-glancing stare, condensing gender imperatives associated with cruising, and conjuring desirous looking. Laser-marquetry operates as a variation of wood-carving common to dive bathrooms, paying homage to Sandy, the title’s narrator, whose concept of a rhizomatic archive is generated out of resilience and refusal.
laser marquetry, fir rail, plwood, hardware