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April 1, 2023, 3-8pm
Vanguard Sculpture Services
3374 W Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53216  



2023 jurors

grilled cheeses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 
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Eduardo Zavala

I’m interested in the ways moss acts as a metaphor for queerness and in its qualities of being able to survive in extreme conditions. Moss is nourishing, it cultivates a healthier environment and engulfs entire forest floors. I’m thinking about queer futurity and how I am everchanging and metamorphosing. However, even in this promise of a queer future, it is playing into the system of the dichotomy of 2, the past and future. I am juggling with this idea and addressing time in a way that challenges the binaries within production.

My work with natural materials such as dirt and mulch coupled with artificial materials like paper and fake moss shows how this queer world exists differently than our own. The body is autobiographical, a vessel containing history and experiences from which I pull and use in my work. My body connects and becomes an extension of the space communicating back and forth, exchanging energy, and becoming aware of the other’s changes.

The constraints of the binaries and the way society sees gender are imposed onto queer people, alienating those who choose not to conform. I create queer spaces and realities where I can reshape the binaries within my context by using natural and created spaces. Utilizing set design to create a new reality allows me to exist within my own constructs of gender and liberate the way I experience the binaries.

This world is missing something, a feeling, queerness makes us feel that there is something lacking from the here and now.

I will be producing a Short film/video performance as an aspect of my thesis installation. It follows the pov of a queer individual in our reality looking for something more, a feeling of something else out there. something calling out to them, pulsating, emitting energy leading them to utopia.

The film starts using “straight time”, filmed conventionally. After the character enters a “portal” they are transformed, they have lost their clothing and emerge adorned with moss and glitter to show the physical change of stepping into queer time and utopia.

The calling becomes louder as the character moves through the new reality. Thinking about queerness as something not yet reached and somewhere on the horizon, the shots of the character in ‘utopia’ would play with the way the audience is allowed to understand the space. I’m interested in the way blocking access acts as a resistance to hierarchy and serves as a disruption of queer visuality. To access it we may need to squint, to restrain our vision and force it to see otherwise.

As the main character is moving through utopia, they are joined by two other queer individuals who have also entered this new reality. They have little understanding of who/what they are. Queerness in its utopian connotations promises humans that aren’t yet here, reminiscent of human form but have transcended human life as we know.

Utopia is a process and not necessarily a destination, perhaps it’s community.

What constitutes the arrival?

top soil $2.67x30 = $80.10
gallon of glue $18.35 
sheet moss cover $4.97x30 = $149.10
mulch $3.67x20 = $73.40
glitter cardstock pack 24 sheets $29.99x2 = $59.98
fringe backdrop $5.00x5 = $25.00
spray insulation foam $3.18x15 = $47.70
foamboard $20.82x2 = $41.64
cotton fabric (per yard) $4.99x10 yds = $49.90
nude underwear $7.99x3 = $23.97
gems $17.99x2 = $35.98
green cardstock paper $5.99x3 = $17.97
wire mesh $15.76x2 = $31.52
plaster cloth $8.99x2 = $17.98
spray paint $8.44x7 = $59.08
large scale printing $120x3 = $360.00
Total: $1,091.67