Filmmaker Update: Paul Wong

Paul Wong Projects: 2 Hot 2 Handle will be featured at Random Acts Of Queerness

Paul Wong’s 2 Hot 2 Handle will be featured at this years Queer Arts Festival’s art exhibition ‘Random Acts of Queerness’ (July 31-August 18). The exhibition is curated by: Persimmon Blackbridge, Jeff Gibson; and QAF Artistic Director, SD Holman.

An opening reception of the Queer Arts Festival at the Roundhouse Community Center, Vancouver BC will be held July 31st, 2012 at 7pm.

The Queer Arts Festival is an annual showcase of queer arts, culture and history. QAF features a curated visual arts show, a community art show, and 3 dynamic weeks of cutting-edge performances and workshops from all artistic disciplines, including music, dance, theatre, literary and media arts.

What happens when you take a queer artist from the big city and land him in southern Alberta during the gay stampede? The answer is 2 Hot 2 Handle. Wong captures this powerful contrast by fusing images of the 2009 Canadian Rockies International Rodeo, Canada’s only gay rodeo, held each year outside of Calgary with photographs of western bronze sculptures. The sculptures depicting cowboys in action were created by artists between the 1880s & mid-1980s,

The installation will include bronzes paired with video projections above them. One video incorporates stills and video of the 2009 Canadian Rockies International Rodeo, Canadaʼs only gay rodeo, held each year just outside of Calgary. The other projection includes stills and text of bronzes from the Glenbow Museum’s collection. Wongʼs work is an impressionistic portrait which explores this alternative part of Western Canada’s history. It is not meant to be a documentary/ literal portrayal of the gay rodeo but rather it situates it in the context of the story of the west and the construction of identities. Wongʼs work uses these frozen gestures to explore the complexities of gender and sexuality. In relation to the bronzes, the videos introduce movement to these very static images and highlighting our constantly evolving and shifting society.

Wong will present a modified version of this installation that was originally commissioned and exhibited by the Glenbow Museum in 2009. Another version of this project was presented as part of Wong’s “5” series of the 2010 Winter Olympic spectacles.