Date of Award

Fall 1-5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Departments/Programs

Art

First Advisor

Reiner Leist

Second Advisor

Lisa Corinne Davis

Academic Program Adviser

Lisa Corinne Davis

Abstract

For the project, I invited friends, lovers, and mentors to share their experiences and memories of cruising in public spaces. Growing up in China, I never had the chance to publicly discuss my concerns with my sexuality, and the sense of liberation in the West had always served as a source of hope. Only after I came to the United States, did I realize that the liberation was nothing more than an illusion. I made two road trips across America to take photographs and embrace a sense of freedom, but on the trips, I ended up having sex with many closeted gay men that I found on dating apps and gay campgrounds and bathhouses. There was no consolation in the social liberal sense of being gay. After a long period of being depressed and confused, I came to realize that assimilation is not acceptance. Current pragmatic gay politics made a cheap deal with the mainstream culture and it failed in recognizing an ecstatic future, a utopic vision that is based on a queer past.

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