In Queer Time

12 Aug 2022 – 24 Aug 2022 | GOMA | Cinema A

‘In Queer Time’ is a cinema program that explores the many dimensions of queer time, a body of thought developed by scholars such as Jack Halberstam that considers how queerness reaches beyond the parameters of daily routines, leading to some queer communities seeking to establish chosen families, explore hedonism, and embrace collective action.

The program brings together a selection of films which delve into these three areas. The first key reoccurring theme in the program is notions of family time, both biological and chosen. Woven throughout some of the films are the complicated relationships between queerness and motherhood. In some examples we encounter tense, complex and traumatic depictions of motherhood. In others, we are faced with figures who fulfill or take on matriarchal roles.

Another important idea is that queer time can also disrupt characteristic understandings of productivity; embracing nihilistic and hedonistic regimes that reject the future. Films from the 1990s reflect time that has been influenced by the impact of HIV/AIDS on queer communities where lifespans were dramatically shortened.

Finally, other filmmakers have complicated the notion of queer time as something that is not accessible to everyone. These films engage with ideas of collective action and failure; here it is important to consider how class, gender and race play a role in queer peoples’ access to different timeframes.

These films, beginning from 1983, are framed by a contemporary understanding of queer identity: one that not only reflects people who are LGBTQIA+ identifying, but also queerness as a way of life that rejects normality. Through both documentary and fiction, ‘In Queer Time’ doesn’t defer to a singular understanding of queer time, instead reflecting multifaceted and conflicting incarnations of queer tempos. Works by established directors such as Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay and Gregg Araki will be screened alongside lesser-known works by Wu Tsang, Lizzie Borden, and Susana Aitkin.

Read on the QAGOMA Blog
As part of the ‘In Queer Time’ cinema program, artist Callum McGrath spoke with Lizzie Borden, the Director of Born in Flames 1983 about her film.

‘Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art’
'In Queer Time' is presented alongside the exhibition ‘Embodied Knowledge’ (13 Aug 2022 – 22 Jan 2023), which features artwork by Callum McGrath.


QAGOMA acknowledges the generous assistance of the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra in providing materials for this program. Program curated by Callum McGrath.

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