For many of us, the first encounters with our fellow queers in literature brought a conscious sense of identity. We could see that we were part of a larger web of human experience. The first books that we identify with often become polymorphous – something that changes with time, reappearing in different styles that impact us differently each time we remember them.
The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History has gathered together a group of artists to pay tribute to some of the books that inspired such awakenings in them for The Queer Book Diorama Show: an exhibit that is currently in residence at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, with sponsorship by the Lambda Literary Awards.
Spearheaded by Hugh Ryan, Founding Director of the Museum, and the author Sassafrass Lowrey, the exhibition takes the concept of the diorama (that much-hated staple of school science fairs) and redeems it as a vehicle for artistic exploration. Presenting scenes and themes from selected books (which range from Rubyfruit Jungle to Mommie Dearest), the projects bring together a perfect mixture of respect for the source material, creativity and kitsch that creates a unique experience for the observer.
The Queer Book Diorama Show will be on exhibition at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library until 30 September 2014.