Last year, Duke University Press published José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown posthumously, another testament to the queer theorist’s ongoing legacy and influence. It was a bend in time during a year where the future’s uncertainty made the critical text all the more needed. Independent curator Marissa Del Torro conjures Muñoz in Cruising the Horizon: New York, presented virtually by the Latinx Project at New York University, where he taught until his death in 2013.
The intergenational exhibition features fourteen artists imagining new, queer(er) timelines and potentials through a range of media, including sculpture, painting, and video. The virtual exhibition is laid out as a bird’s eye view of a gallery installation (map included) — a fitting act of imagination itself. Works like Xandra Ibarra’s “Ya Estubo” and Marco Da Silva’s “Neither here, nor there A-E” invoke Muñoz’s futurities with their very titles. The digital (re)presentation of large-scale sculptures (such as Beatriz Cortez and rafa esparza’s sprawling “Nomad 13” (2017)) and material textures (like Moises Salazar’s portraits made of glitter, satin, canvas, and yarn) remains a kind of translation but, in this virtual space, ray ferreira’s oceanic glitch GIFs “freshwetdrencht” and “postfleshscreensurface” (both 2021) become portals from and reminders of the glowing webpage mediation.
As we enter another phase of the pandemic — with its grief and inequities ongoing, but inflected with optimism — the presentation of Cruising the Horizon perhaps presents a model of what hybrid in-person and online exhibitions could look like. Months or even a year from now, many of our realities may be different, but hopefully, such impulses for curatorial gestures towards accessibility and expansiveness will remain.
Cruising the Horizon: New York continues online at the Latinx Project at New York University. The exhibition was curated by Marissa Del Torro.