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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    The sign taped to the front door of the Conrad Wilde Gallery warned me right from the beginning: I was in for some sex.

    “”The Polemics of Love,”” the gallery’s latest exhibition, delivers a wide range of national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender related art, addressing the many issues behind what it means to be queer in contemporary society. While the art is diverse both in terms of  medium and point of view, it fuses together to express the complex mental workings behind modern gay love.

    This show is not for the prudish. As I walked in, my eyes immediately were directed towards a group of four, ahem, dildo-molded sculptures presented in precarious situations I wouldn’t wish upon my worst ex-boyfriend. On the other side of the small gallery, an installation of 100 condoms with “”I am worried about sex”” printed on a packaging brought an epiphany-driven smile to my face.

    While a lot of the art does contain such campy, in-your-face sexual references, “”The Polemics of Love”” goes beyond such Fascinations-esque interest levels.

    According to gallery co-owner, curator and participating artist Miles Conrad, this show has been a year in the making. Having this time allowed him to fine-tune artists who are highly educated, technically skilled, and cutting edge in terms of artistic trends. The result of Conrad’s selection is a therapeutic release of serious identity concerns alongside playful wit that celebrates and asserts the validity of queer love.

    Perhaps the most whimsical piece in the show was Torreya Cummings’ “”Tumbleweeds.””

    Addressing the issue of rootlessness and the queer tendency to migrate towards urban areas, this piece presented two remote control tumbleweeds on top of R.C. car wheels.

    The punch line was the shared remote control frequency making “”Tumbleweeds”” unpredictable as the frequencies mixed.

    “”I love that piece!”” Conrad exclaimed, “”I thought that people enjoyed it immensely. … It was a great way to activate the space.””

    Giggles echoed throughout the Conrad Wilde Gallery as people tried to control the artwork that seemed to develop a mind of its own. Whizzing around the gallery, the tumbleweeds ran into people’s legs and even onto another floor-level installation piece of a recreated bedroom scene of crumpled sheets strewn with sugar.

    As “”The Polemics of Love”” queerly exhibits sex and sass, at the collection’s heart is a sincere focus on morality, the struggle for equality and the reality of love; much more universal themes than the show may have intended.

    Conrad says that he wanted to create an atmosphere commemorating the desire, tension, audacity and humor in love and sex. Whether you are attracted to it or repulsed by it, “”The Polemics of Love”” provokes thoughtful questions about important concepts for anyone, regardless of their gender identification or sexual orientation.

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