Kieran Butler: Boys (don’t) cry

Gallery One

Boys (don’t) cry is a tragic love story, a casual hook-up and an awkward first time. It’s all the feelings you couldn’t say, the coming out you never always wanted and a person you thought you could fall in love with.

Art Exhibition previously on at AirSpace Projects in New South Wales, Australia.
From Friday 10 February 2017 to Friday 24 February 2017
Launch Friday 10 February 2017, 6.00-8.00pm

A self-portrait for you, for me, for yoooo, for M and A and Gee too image

Published by AirSpace Projects on Friday 13 January 2017.
Contact the publisher.

Boys (don’t) cry is about the materialities of love and relationships, the 21st century’s constant stream of information, and the way their associated power relations aid the breakdown and construction of one’s own identity. This exhibition is one instance of how we might work through the endless experiences of being under construction, the questions we ask, the self-doubt we face, the love we feel and the places, real, imagined, semi-fictional or fluid it may take us to; online or offline.

For myself, as a gay man, this has been a long, enduring and seemingly lonely experience, a slow construction of my own identity full of self-doubt. I ask myself questions about masculinity, femininity, LGBTQI colloquial language and popular culture; things I don’t understand, things I want to reject/accept, things I’ve felt removed from yet so close to at the same time. In the digital age materiality points to a mess of diverse factors where materiality itself can be an effect of “an ongoing performance”.1 In this work I am referring to my own ongoing unsuccessful and semi-fictional performances of love as a homosexual, the identity politics of my own socio-political context and how I navigate them.

I am not the first to say boys don’t cry and this exhibition is by no means definitive of LGBTQI experiences. It is merely one of the many stories that exist in spaces that are real and tangible, sometimes imagined, semi-fictional and fluid.

1 Lange Berndt, P. Documents of Contemporary Art: Materiality, MIT Press, London, 2015, pg.12