‘Looking Now Anyone Here’ explores cruising and gay beats

A new exhibition opens at Paper Mountain on Friday May 10th. Looking Now Anyone Here examines the function, aesthetics and architecture of public toilets that serve as gay beats.

‘Beats’ are described as areas frequented by gay men and men who have sex with men, where cruising occurs. The exhibition investigates the cultural and historical significance of these spaces to local communities through the work of artists Brent Harrison, Benjamin Bannon and Wade Taylor.

Graeme Watson spoke to Bannon and Harrison on RTRFM’s All Things Queer program to find out more about the development of the art works.

“I noticed that there were a few artists in Perth who had been making work about beats and looking at cruising culture in general so I thought it would be a really good idea to combine all these artist’s practices into one and stage an exhibition.” Harrison said.

The exhibition will be a combination of existing work and some new pieces creates just for this showing. For artist Ben Bannon he’d previously created a site specific work around a beat at Lake Monger that was being demolished, for this exhibition he found inspiration in the story of a toilet door that featured a glory hole which was donated to the West Australian Museum last year.

“I thought it would be a great idea to contact Neil Buckley, the man who saved the door in 1998, and speak to him and get a different generational perspective, we built up quite a good repore which each other.” Bannon said.

His work for the exhibition is based on a film that Buckley was involved in making in the late ’90s that was shot in a beat in Gosnells.

“My work is reframing this erotic short documentary about cruising in the 90’s, through a contemporary lens for this exhibition. ” Bannon explained.

Looking Now Anyone Here opens at Paper Mountain on Friday 10th May and runs through until the end of the month. Find all the details at papermountain.org.au  

Listen to the full conversation below. 

Graeme Watson

OUTinPerth staff volunteer at community radio station RTRFM 92.1 to produce the weekly program All Things Queer. Tune in to hear the show at 11am each Wednesday morning. 

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