Alexander Rondeau

A Taste of Salt, 2020

Part index, part diary, and part lover letter, the collection of photographs, writings, and objects amassed in A Taste of Salt map a constellation of a trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in August of 2019 with my partner. Specifically, the musings centre Provincetown, a known gay mecca at the point of the Cape. In the winter, Provincetown is a small, sleepy fishing village, but, when summer unfolds, tens of thousands of queer folks migrate in an en-mass queering of space and time. Interwoven between 35mm photographs taken in Provincetown, text narrates our experience while citing theoretical frameworks at play in the ideologies that have lead to — and sustain — the queering of Provincetown. Unlike a typical Gay Village, Provincetown is unique in that it is not a designated neighbourhood folded within a larger city, the entire town is queer — like the utopias I dream of when reading queer theory. Much like the summer season, the utopia actualized is also highly ephemeral. Crystallized photographs resting within the frame at once function as a protective layer to archival ephemera, and shimmer with glittery iridescence derivative of queer aesthetics. Book pages open like haptic portals to another queer place and time: intertextual markers of the manifold arrivals/becomings/iterations/citations/formations/lexicons of queerness remaining at once intersubjective and independent to a larger community and space and time. The nebulous yet grid like arrangement of photographs and materials is informed by historical queer visual culture, particularly the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is an unimaginably massive quilt constructed from small, individual patches dedicated to those lost. This visual strategy is at once rhizomatic, and suggestive of an intersubjective ecology of queerness and actors that are independent, but ostensibly operate under collective interest.

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