We Are Here

Three Faces of Candee – You and me against the world

3 channel video, silent
Duration: 4:17, 3:25, 2:35 minutes looped |
Edition of 1 (+ an artist’s proof)

My video installation, Three Faces of Candee – You and me against the world (2017), crafted for We Are Here, conceptually and visually disassembles light to underscore the intertwined complexities of memory, representation, and effacement.

This work intricately weaves together recollections from my queer past with archival evidence, aiming to anchor myself temporally and spatially within my queer community, affirming our enduring presence.

Ironically, this nostalgic journey exposes the intentional and unintentional gaps in my hippocampus, revealing the selective nature of memory.

At an individual level, selectively erasing memories can be empowering, fostering personal growth. However, it underscores the indispensability of collections and archives in preserving collective memory.

In contexts where inclusivity is expected, selective practices erode a community’s visibility, perpetuating structural and institutional oblivion, erasing their contributions from the social narrative.
Within the queer sphere, such erasure often stems from societal dismissal of our societal contributions. I strive to challenge, discard, and reshape these misconceptions.

In the early 1990s, Miss Candee’s performance of “You and me against the world” resonated with a dark allure, devoid of the expected glitter and sequins. Just a frumpy smock and ill fitting wig. This raw authenticity makes it ideal source material for my work.

Although it may seem I am superficially celebrating glitter and glamour, my work involves projecting historical queer documentation onto sandpaper, an abrasive medium that violently refracts light, transforming it into something ethereal. Each grain of sand disperses light into a galaxy of vibrant, shifting stars, echoing Miss Candee’s essence.

This transformative process, symbolic of the queer community’s resilience and creativity, mirrors our ability to challenge societal norms despite adversity and erasure.

Curated by Angela Bailey, We Are Here was presented at the State Library of Victoria for Midsumma 2017.

Exhibiting artists: Susan Maco Forrester, Peter Lambropoulos, Archie Barry, Peter Waples-Crowe, Briony Galligan