queer at the root is a virtual art exhibition featuring 18 Jewish, queer and or trans artists across North America displayed by the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto in collaboration with Jewish Queer Trans Vancouver curated by Angelic.
statement from the curator
The identity of the Jewish child of diaspora is one that is “split at the root” as first described by Adrienne Rich in Split at the Root: An Essay on Jewish Identity (1970). Adrienne Rich describes her removal from her own identities, and the complications of homes, family, faith and ancestry within Jewish cultures. She describes that many Jewish people, feeling they are only Jew-ish, always feeling a distance, or a gap from a sense of home in being a jew. How has this root splitting impacted the way our tongues twist, trying to relearn what is home – now, grasping to express the complexity of our beingness?
The work in this exhibition is all equally sacred – whether photography, collage, painting, crafted by youth artists or older artists – it all lives side by side, in the multiplicity of Jewishness, of queerness, of transness, and the non-hierarchical way our beingness creates and interweaves with each other. Queer at the Root beckons that we are always necessary to be witnessed, celebrated and understood in our multiplicity continuously. This exhibition features 18 artists, to affirm our life collectively. As in, together we become life itself. Here we are, creating to unsplit ourselves, to come back into our kin, to affirm we always were, in fact, here. At the deepest root, we express all of ourselves.
How in fact does our queerness and transness affirm our Jewish roots? When we trace ourselves back to the divine sex identities… zachar, adrogynos, nekevah. How does it further our relationship with YHVH? The ancestors that cycled souls between genders are waiting for us to listen. How does our openness to possibility, allow us to mourn and hear the ancestral weeping at the places of original sand? Before the sea was split? Back to before any bellies swallowed us? Back to before we woke to our full magic? How much radical empathy of queer magic channels us into the prophetic? How far does our queerness send us into the past and future of the possibilities of Judaism, of Jewishness, of full hearted faith and kinship? How does our possibility to call ourselves through our expression absorb us entirely into multiplicity, boundless expression, and full stomachs, full fed hearts? Here we are, creating to unsplit ourselves, to come back into our kin, to affirm we always were, in fact, here. – angelic
Jewish Queer Trans Vancouver, Pride Toronto