The MuseumsQuartier is proud to prominently present two works by the US-American artist Daniel Hill, who lives in Vienna, on the forecourt of the MQ within the framework of international Pride Month, which takes place each year in June.
Opening Wed 31.05., 18h
Pride stands for the self-respect and self-awareness of the queer community and emphasizes that all people can feel pride in themselves, no matter what gender identity or sexual orientation they live out.
Danielle Pamp with Self Portrait © Daniel Hill, Bildrecht Wien, 2023
Denice Bourbon with Cigarette © Daniel Hill, Bildrecht Wien, 2023
Denice Palmieri with Chainsaw © Daniel Hill, Bildrecht Wien, 2023
Pêdra Costa with Water Cup © Daniel Hill, Bildrecht Wien, 2023
Queer as a Daffodil, since 2021
Daniel Hill invited four queer protagonists of the art and culture scene to step in front of the camera and discuss questions regarding identity and politics, gender and sexuality in contemporary queer culture. The results are sensitively composed, classic-seeming portraits showing each of the individuals portrayed with a daffodil. Hill developed the staging in cooperation with his models with the aim of capturing their individual character and facets of their queer existence in gestures, facial expressions, and settings. In long conversations, Hill reflects with his counterpart on what it means to be queer as an artist, and how this has shaped and influenced their own art. Excerpts from the dialogues accompany the portraits.
The daffodil, also known as narcissus, is the motif that interlinks the photos and gives this series its title. The flower represents self-love and rebirth—concepts that Daniel Hill associates with his own coming-out. The word daffodilhas also been used as a derogatory term for queer individuals in pop-culture contexts. With this series, Hill would like to reappropriate, reassess, and give a positive connotation to this word.
On the rear side of this display, divided up on six stelae, one can see a black-and-white photograph in which Daniel Hill stages himself in a reserved, introverted manner on a deserted construction site. In this work, Hill interrogates the relationship of the queer body to urban space. By positioning his own naked body in a sculpture-like way in the brutal, rudimentary architecture, thus virtually exposing himself to the built surroundings, he emphasizes both the corporeal and built forms, lines, and boundaries, which converge with one another in the black-and-white of the picture. Anti- and pro-queer slogans on the artist’s body take up the graffiti on the walls and columns of the surroundings both formally and with respect to content. The coarse oppressive surroundings contrast with the vulnerable human body. This setting stands symbolically for the social hostilities that queer individuals continue to be exposed to in everyday life.
Statement by Daniel Hill
‘What does it mean to be queer? As a person who has never felt a sense of belonging to one particular group, who during all the years in the closet always felt different, it was difficult for me for a long time to identify with a queer existence. I set off on this artistic journey in order to examine this identity along with contemporary queer artists, and have come to understand that being queer is so much more than an identity. It signifies so much more than a group or community. It is in particular an individual expression, but also a rejection of social norms, resistance against foreseeable expectations, acceptance of others as what they are and how they would like to be seen, and a political struggle against misogyny, racism, and colonialism. Queer has such a wealth of facets that it cannot even be labelled as a specific genre in the artworld.
Being queer means being a daffodil: being reborn as your true self, loving yourself, and simply looking damn beautiful in the process.’
Daniel Hill, who was born in Florida in 1980, grew up in California. He has been living in Vienna since 2012.
Curated by Verena Kaspar-Eisert
Wed 14.06., ab 19h: MQ Pride Night at MQ Sommerbühne
Performances, Drag-Show & Voguing
curated by Daniel Hill and moderated by Denise Palmieri mit Danielle Pamp, Faris Cuchi, Haus of Rausch, Kiki House of Dive, Bicha Boo