Under the conditions of neoliberalism, the desire to acknowledge difference may blur with a contemporary demand for the same. How might queer solo performance allow us to historicize the cultural and political exigency of exceptional subjects? An example: in recent weeks, I have been preoccupied with British writer and director Neil Bartlett and designer Robin Whitmore's A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep. The piece is a sequence of devised works staged between 1987 and 1990 dedicated to the memory of Simeon Solomon, a ‘short, red-haired, ugly and flagrant Jew’ and contemporary of Oscar Wilde born to a good family whose ‘fallen life’ was dedicated to the pleasures of alcohol and rough trade. Inspired by Solomon's paintings and his prose poem from which the work takes its title, the performance is drawn from fragments of text and (auto)biography: images and words from the late nineteenth century colliding with the experience of being a gay man in the late 1980s in the midst of the AIDS crisis. Originally presented as a solo work, later iterations were performed by Bartlett alongside three London queens: Bette Bourne, Regina Fong and Ivan.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.