Queer Camouflage as Survival, Presence, and Expressive Capital in the Postcolonial Artwork of Kiam Marcelo Junio

Authored by: Jan Christian Bernabe

The Postcolonial World

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138778078
eBook ISBN: 9781315297699
Adobe ISBN: 9781315297682


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In this chapter I present a critical analysis of a body of multidisciplinary artwork: a single-channel video piece Art Must Be Beautiful (Study), After Abramović (1975), and Mimesis I & Mimesis II from the Camouflage as a Metaphor for Passing, a series all created by the Philippine-born and Chicago-based Kiam Marcelo Junio, a Filipino postcolonial multidisciplinary artist. 1 A former U.S. Navy corpsman for seven years before the abolishment of the U.S. anti-gay policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Junio appropriates the term and act of camouflage from “their” military experience as a tactical aesthetic strategy of subversion that manifests both corporeally and materially through Junio’s artistic practice. After his service in the Navy, they would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I use the plural term “their” throughout this chapter since Junio identifies both as a postcolonial genderqueer or gender-nonconforming individual and artist as well as through a performance of Junio’s drag “alter-ego” Jerry Blossom. 2 Junio describes Jerry Blossom as “a genderqueer Filipino femme-presenting persona who hails from an alternate post-queer, post-colonialist utopia/universe in which the Philippines is a world power.” 3

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