do you want me to come?
1. The Fuck Tree at Hampstead Heath.
2. Cruising hot spot in Abney Park Cemetery.
3. Reconstruction of a man masturbating in front of a grave in Abney Park.
4. Man walking away from the camera in Abney Park Cemetery.
5. Between here and Brompton Cemetery.
6. Man looking at the camera in Abney Park Cemetery.
7. The Undergrowth in Haggerston Park.
8. Blow-up of a Man looking at the camera in Abney Park cemetery.
My current research is focused around the politics of cruising today. What is the current state of cruising in the gay community nowadays? Cruising spots are disappearing around cities and this is a trend that extends to all LGBTQI+ places. The recent relative acceptance of the community, normalisation and the growing use of online dating platforms, means you don't have to use secret places to be able to meet other people like you. But what happens with these spaces behind the undergrowth and who uses them now? My current project visits these traditional cruising parks in the city of London and examines their social activity, to see if they remain a place of revolution or they have become something else.
To me the cruising space, is the ultimate space, a space that not only exists in our community’s memory, but it also exists in real life. A space that is still resisting against the powers of normalisation and oppression. Furthermore, we can start seeing the cruising grounds as a Heterotopic space1. These are spaces within spaces, they mirror reality; but at the same time, heterotopias are spaces that transform. A space that is full of contradictions, that accepts but also rejects. Similar to this idea is the one of the Third Space2, a space where everything comes together and every individual acts as hybrid. Where the space can become an idyllic space where change and revolution still happens.
A question that I am constantly trying to answer with my practice is, how does the changing politics of our own community, are changing the way we interact and the way we cruise? And also, how does the effects of normalisation erode the cruising grounds and social cleansing affects parks. This is a project that celebrates difference and it’s against normalisation.