Gallery Talk: Jackson Davidow
In this Gallery Talk, Jackson Davidow will focus his discussion on two of Carlos Reyes’s sculptural works that materially derive from gay bathhouses.
While West Side Club (2018) is a hanging installation of salvaged sauna planks of cedar from the now-defunct New York bathhouse of the same name, 7269 (I)is a glass cylindrical form around a metal drain repurposed from the Melrose Spa in Los Angeles. Offering an abbreviated genealogy of artistic and architectural engagements with the gay bathhouse as a site of cruising and community, Davidow will position these works within historical and theoretical debates on queer space and public sex. He will also ruminate on their evocative, erotic, and minimalist materialities—wood, glass, metal—through evidentiary and existential questions of the trace. Finally, he will speculate on the political significance of Reyes’s project. Do these works nostalgically function as white-cube memorials to bygone of sexual cultures? Or do they call for new pursuits of pleasure and connection?
Jackson Davidow is an art historian, curator, and critic. His criticism has appeared in Art in America, Artforum, The Baffler, The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Review, frieze, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. With Noam Parness, he is co-curator of Christian Walker: The Profane and the Poignant, which originates at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in September 2023 before traveling to the Tufts University Art Galleries (TUAG) at the SMFA in Boston in January 2024. He has a second exhibition, As the World Burns: Queer Photography and Nightlife in Boston, which accompanies the Walker survey during its presentation at TUAG.