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Media Release • 31 Mar 22

NGV launches podcast QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection with Courtney Act

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection with Courtney Act is a five-part podcast series, produced by the NGV, that delves into artworks and themes explored in the landmark exhibition QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection currently on display at NGV International until 21 August 2022.

Through conversations with NGV curators and artists represented in the exhibition, the podcast will offer further insights into many broad and diverse exhibition themes, including love, community and activism, celebration and memory, queer sensibilities, and queer strategies.

The podcast will be hosted by iconic Australian drag queen Courtney Act who rose to international fame appearing on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Courtney Act is a performer, presenter, author and advocate for queer rights, tolerance, and acceptance.

In dialogue with the curatorial team of QUEER, Act explores how these themes find expression in the exhibition. Act also interviews five artists whose work features in QUEER and intersects with these broader ideas and stories including: Tourmaline, Linda Jackson, William Yang, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, and Dylan Mooney.


In episode one of the podcast New York-based artist, activist, filmmaker, and writer Tourmaline talks about her work which highlights the capacity of Black queer and trans people and communities to make and transform worlds including her film Atlantic is a sea of bones 2017 which features in the exhibition. Also in this episode, Meg Slater, Assistant Curator of International Exhibition Projects, NGV discusses how the themes of community and activism are represented in the exhibition.


Episode two interviews photographer, writer, and performer William Yang whose body of documentary and portraiture photography work since the 1960s has engaged with the Sydney gay scene, the impact of HIV/AIDS and his sense of identity as a Chinese-Australian. In his interview Yang discussed his two works in QUEER titled William in scholar’s costume, from the Old new borrowed blue series, 2008 and Battling time 2010. In this episode Act also talks to Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art, NGV about the representation of celebration and memory in the exhibition.


In episode three Act talks to pioneering Australian fashion designer Linda Jackson AO about her practice, rich collaborations with fellow artists and designers and her work Black and White Calligraphy 1978 on display in QUEER. Act further discusses the concept of Queer Sensibilities with Dr Angela Hesson, Curator of Australian Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts to 1980, NGV, what this means and how Queer Sensibilities are represented in works on show in the exhibition.


In episode four Act interviews Mexican artist Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, who discusses her work autofelatio, 2018, which uses queer strategies to examine automotive ‘mythology’, colonialism, and sensuality. Meanwhile, Pip Wallis, Curator of Contemporary Art, NGV discusses Queer Strategies with Act and how these strategies are represented in works included in QUEER.


The final episode in the series introduces artist Dylan Mooney, a Yuwi man from Mackay, Queensland, Torres Strait Islander from Darnley Island and Australian born South Sea Islander. Mooney, the youngest artist represented in QUEER, discusses his digital artworks which depict queer and Blak urban love stories. Meanwhile, Myles Russell-Cook, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art, NGV shares artworks that explore the theme of love in the QUEER exhibition.

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection is a landmark exhibition that explores the NGV Collection through a queer lens and celebrates the rich, diverse, and sometimes untold stories that emerge. Spanning five gallery spaces and featuring nearly 400 artworks traversing timelines and geographies, the exhibition is the most historically expansive thematic presentation of artworks relating to queer stories ever mounted in an Australian art institution.


Episode one: Queer Community & Activism with Tourmaline – available to listen now on NGV Channel, Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Episode two: Celebration & Memory with William Yang – available to listen 8 April
Episode three: Queer Sensibilities with Linda Jackson – available to listen 22 April
Episode four: Queer Strategies with Frieda Toranzo Jaeger – available to listen 6 May
Episode five: Love with Dylan Mooney
– available to listen 20 May

The podcast, QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection with Courtney Act, is available to listen to on NGV Channel via the NGV website, and the Apple Podcasts and Spotify apps.

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection will run 10 March to 21 August 2022 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Free entry. Further information is available via the NGV website.

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