Reading through Time: < 1 minute
Marquis looks back again through history to reflect on contemporary representations of queerness
In her first major essay, Notes on Get away (1964), the late American writer Susan Sontag (1933-2004) traces queer aesthetics returning to the early Enlightenment period, composing, “still the soundest starting place seems to be the late-17th and early-18th century, because of that will period’s extraordinary feeling for artifice, for surface, for symmetry; its taste for the attractive and the thrilling, its classy conventions for representing quick feeling and the total existence of character. ” Even though writers and thinkers have critiqued the essay’s justifications, contemporary queer aesthetics without doubt borrow from this era.
For photographer Tara Laure Claire, late-17th and early-18th century portrayals of masculinity inspired her latest collection, Marquis, along with 1960s Bollywood aesthetics as a reference to her Indian heritage . In Marquis , Claire reimagines these inspirations in a surreal style, reviving their looks to meditate on contemporary manifestations of gender, identification, and sexuality. “The colored tights historically worn by men were my major inspiration, ” Claire describes. “[And the question of how the] beliefs and the wardrobe [of that period] would manifest today. ”