You do not Have to be Good

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Tropical Contemporary presents, "You do not Have to be Good" featuring artists Susan Kruger-Barber, Ben Lenoir and Andrew Nigon. This multimedia exhibition addresses issues and cultures of morality in conflict and reclamation of LGBTQ+ identity and aesthetics.

"You do not Have to be Good" opens on Friday, January 11th from 6-9pm. Gallery hours will be on Saturdays 1/12 and 1/19 from 1-4pm

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Susan Kruger-Barber
Latter-Day-Saint (Mormon) pioneers fled the settled United States after Joseph Smith was murdered and Nauvoo burned. In Utah, they suffered more persecution for practicing polygamy coupled with fighting for women’s suffrage. Carrying epigenetics of maltreatment, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints currently fights same-sex marriage and queer identity. Their LGBTQ* community lives on a rollercoaster of small gestures of acceptance and great acts of exclusion. LGBTQ* believers and somewhat allies survive on a yo-yo that rarely peaks and often plummets.

Ben Lenoir
My practice begins in rumination and emotion, then ends in evaluation and reflection. This project began as a means to connect with the bullying I experienced as an adolescent. I connect to that experience through language since verbal abuse was central to it. I’ve been called ‘faggot’ over 1000 times in my life and I have written it just as many times in 2018. As the work evolved, the letterforms became increasingly abstracted—a kind of visual semantic saturation. The once perfectly formed words turned into gestures and suggestions rather than an epithet. The collection of works displayed here depict the experience of cognitive dissonance established by bullying based on sexual identity.

Andrew Nigon
Andrew Nigon is a sculpture and installation artist based in Albany, OR. His figurative work draws conceptual inspiration from Catholic symbolism with a focus on the human form theatrically displaying themes of trauma, decay, and resilience. His practice relies on a playful experimentation of material and process to create forms that challenge and manipulate established iconography. His works are heroic yet tragic monuments devoted souls trapped in an incomplete and imperfect world. The travails of walking a tightrope of religious participation within a place of patterned rejection.