Art that can be construed as supporting LGBTQ+ rights

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My Retirement at Ury So Far
2021 - 2024

Stephen Lauf

Dedicated to
Beth Atkinson, Librarian
all because she wouldn't accept my Ury House dossier

I'll start with the sequence of events in just the past two days.

Friday, 19 April 2024
'Art that can be construed as supporting LGBTQ+ rights at museumpeace.com' is already online at theartblog.org when I go to see if it's there around 8:45 am. I also receive a response email from Hoang Tran, Director of Archives and Collections, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts:

Hi Steve!
Thanks for the insights!
These volumes are my favorite works in our archives. The etchings are simply amazing. Moreover, I’m fascinated with the history of how we acquired them and with the new information you’re suggesting makes them even more amazing!
Next Thursday is open 12-4:30pm and Friday 9am-4:30pm.
These are large volumes so I or my assistant will need to be present to flip the pages for you.

Then I texted Ryan deRoche at theartblog.org -- Thanks Ryan -- before heading over to 'Prospective Artists and Performers Open House' at Glen Foerd where, for the first time, I meet Hayley [sp?] in the parking lot, and it turns out Hayley and I are the only artists to show up for the open house, so we're both treated to two hours of Alice Thompson's inspiring Glen Foerd tours--Alice is the Arts & Culture Program Manager at Glen Foerd and this was my second Alice Thompson tour within a month, and both tours are among the highlights of my retirement so far. It also turns out that I spent two hours with two quite incredible women. As we returned to the parking lot Hayley and I talked about the Jupiter-Uranus Conjunction happening tomorrow night.

Back home I respond to Hoang's email and go on to compose the 19 April page of ATCBCASLGBTQ+R. After doing that I decide there's enough time to take The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe over to the library of Ryerss Museum and Library to formally start my Ury House Dossier project, unaware that the first act of the two act play Dossier and Not!, starring Beth Atkinson and Stephen Lauf, is what was really going to happen. What a shock and a blow for me, but that was because Beth already had her lines and knew exactly what role she was going to play. I was caught completely off guard and had to ad-lib pretty much everything I said. You'll see in the second act (tomorrow, Saturday) that Beth accuses me of being hostile, but boy was she the hostile one in act one, to the point where I did get one good line when I said, "I really think I want what you just said to me on video." To which Beth quickly replied, "Go ahead, and I'll write it down for you too." I exit act one shaken and dejected.

Again back home I call Jeannie (Jean Broden) to tell her about the Glen Foerd 'open house,' but our phones didn't quite connect. Then I went to pick up some medication at the pharmacy; Viet and I kind of commiserate over how we don't see each other much anymore since my brother's passing in January, but I did tell him I heard about the Mary, Kelly and Debbie 'reunion' at Debbie's retirement party. "Yeah, yeah, we've been socializing a bit more lately."

And again back home I try to relax the rest of the evening/night and ultimately have a phone conversation with Andrew Kovacs who is, although we've never met in person, the first new friend I've made since turning 65. I did a lot of the talking since Andrew was driving somewhere in Los Angeles on his way home. Andrew is our time's leading architect/designer/artist of follies, most recently Rainbow Rings, Yucatan, Mexico and Gloriette-R1 on what is more or less the last property directly downhill from the HOLLYWOOD sign--uniquely top-notch works. Among all kinds of stuff I tell Andrew about my plans for what manifests into act two of Dossier and Not!


Latest addition to my Ury House dossier, a dossier with the purpose of ending the lies published about Ury House and a dossier with the purpose of establishing the true history of Ury House.

Art that can be construed as supporting LGBTQ+ rights at museumpeace.com

I read Julia Bryan-Wilson's "Impermanent Collections" (Artforum International, September 2021) this morning, soon after waking up but before getting out of bed. I'm pretty sure I haven't read the essay before, although, as a subscriber to Artforum, I've owned this issue of the magazine since September 2021, but September 2021 was also a uniquely critical month in my life as full-time caregiver for my then stroke-effected brother. I'm absolutely sure I paged through the magazine the day I received it, which is what I do every time I receive the magazine, but it seems I haven't paged through the magazine again till last night when I randomly chose to browse through the magazine to help me fall asleep. Anyway, I now feel a strong connection to "Impermanent Collections," and the last two paragraphs of Julia Bryan-Wilson's essay are especially worth repeating.
"In a moment ringing with clarion calls to reevaluate the entire premise of museums, or, more radically, to abandon them altogether, it is worth noting how many queer and trans artists have in the past few decades proposed new kinds of (temporary, unrealized, experimental, minoritarian) institutions. Each of these examples animates a different conception of the queer/trans museum: For Wilson, a recontextualization of clinical material uncovers lesbian erotics; for Khaled, a real act of homophobic injustice is refracted through the prism of an invented person; for Vargas, physical objects are conjured into relation; for Campuzano, mobile displays that imbricate fact and fiction put pressure on how nations construct their own histories. All these projects mobilize, and destabilize, what André Malraux described as the leveling inherent in a "museum without walls" by using acts of queer fabulation. In so doing, they recognize that the museum organizes history not only through objects but through the eloquent space between objects--the gaps within which interpretation takes place. When those gaps are penetrated and held open, other stories creep in.
Critically, such insurgent museums require much less money to run than brick-and-mortar outfits and therefore have no need to pander to funding agencies or to supplicate wealthy board members. For subjects whose identities have been forcibly removed from national histories, surveilled with hostility by the state, and strategically concealed as a means of survival, what, if anything, might the museum offer as a conceptual tool for thinking memory differently? Artists like Campuzano, Khaled, Vargas, and Wilson recruit the language of the museum precisely because they grasp the immense power that word holds. The museum is a regulating apparatus, one that enforces family structures, polices cultural norms, and confers privilege. Significantly, it also possesses the capacity to make worlds out of fragments--a tactic queer and trans people have become adept at. Hence there is something especially fitting about a museum that is inhabited, and exploded, by queer and trans artists. The colonial ideologies that led to the encyclopedic collecting museum are impossible to rally behind, as are the blood monies of trustees that prop up workplace hierarchies. In the end, the queer, transient, artist-imagined, speculative museum might be the only one worth saving."


The New York Times
Today's Headlines

Jefferson Torresdale Emergency Trauma Center   San Michel   St. Michael's Shrine of the True Cross   Knights Road   Philadelphia

In memory of
Otto George Lauf
10 January 1953 - 12 January 2024

The last five hours of my brother's life were spent within Jefferson Torresdale's Emergency Trauma Center. San Michel was the early-life summer home of Katharine Drexel. "In 1891, Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order dedicated to serving the African American and Native American communities; Katharine and the new Sisters move into the Drexel's former summer home in Torresdale and begin the new Order [and remain there till 1892]." Katharine Drexel was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint October 2000. 16 May 2023: "It was about 9:30 at night when I told my brother that I recently found out that the convent where he was born--Klosterberg, Hohenwart, Bavaria--goes back to the year 1074."

Mary Boone's 180 hours of community service


Mary Boone's 180 hours of community service   hour 4

Stephen Lauf © 2024.04.21

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