Francisco Hurtz is a queer artist based in São Paolo Brazil who deals with the appropriation and recontextualisation of images, passing through the Queer Theory and the relations between bodies and space. He identifies himself as an Anarchist Bitch and often features gender and sexuality in his art, not being afraid to be political and to question the current status quo.
Francisco plays the simplicity of the lines, fragility and lightness. Men become the objects of his work, relating to their bodies without artifice, put to the test in the empty space to be observed. The masculine is assembled, complete and integrated – and goes from individual to collective, presenting the possibility of a contemporary masculinity. Empty bodies are filled with complex meanings.
What is the message you want to portray through your work?
Manhood is an invention of patriarchy that serves to perpetuate the idea of state and property through the notion of family and compulsory heterosexuality, basically.
How do you identify yourself?
How easy or difficult is it to be a queer artist in Brazil?
The military dictatorship in Brazil (1964 – 1985) delayed the discussions on gender and sexuality in Brazilian art; people were murdered by the government, artists were tortured and the art of this period had a political vocation in the more traditional sense. Our democracy began along with the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and a huge chunk of homosexual artists died before having access to Judith Butler’s gender studies or even Teresa de Lauretis or Marilyn Frye. What exists now in Brazil is a rescue of certain artists who worked intuitively with the politics of gender and the relations of power through the sex that today is called Queer, like Hudinilson Jr, Alair Gomes, Leonilson, Rafael França. The subject is very restricted and little spoken in Brazil. There is a certain pioneering spirit in our art and it is our job to translate the Queer Studies into our reality and transform it into something genuinely ours, a genuinely Brazilian queer art that also bridges the gap that Aids left at the forefront of Brazilian art and that also links us to our artistic past.
It’s not easy. It’s a big responsibility.
Is there homophobia and discrimination against LGBTQ+ artists in Brazil?
Brazil is the country that kills LGBTQ + people the world over. The art bubble is very different from the reality of the rest of the country, there are many white gay artists but there is a silent agreement among neoliberal gays not to mention sex in art. Queer artists are a minority even in the visual arts. We are systematically silenced by interests of museums and institutions that prefer not to bother the heterosexual majority of sponsors and visitors.
How do you explore the human body and the male sexuality in your work?
Through immateriality and doubt. Man is a lie that everyone agreed to believe.
You have a tattoo in Greek. What does the tattoo say and what does it mean to you?
Everything flows, nothing stands still – Heraclitus
What is your biggest audience?
Do you think queer artists are unrepresented in the contemporary art scene nowadays?
What are your main influences and inspirations?
Paul B. Preciado, Mikhail Bakunin, Michel Foucault, Siouxie and the Banshees, Xabier Arakistain, Karl Marx, Walter Hopps, Pierre Bourdieu, RuPaul, my Mum, David Hockney, porn, Madonna and Instagram.
What is your opinion about queer politics and anarchism?
State, Gender and Heterosexuality are centralising powers and that produce marginalisation and exclusion all the time. I do not believe that it is possible to think about the exclusion of LGBTQ + without thinking about the exclusion of immigrants, thinking about feminism, thinking about predatory neoliberalism, thinking about the poor and racial issues. Queer is one of the faces of Anarchism. Queer, like Anarchism, is a radical form of democracy.
How did your career start?
I had no talent for anything but art.
What are your future plans?
Not to die. I have to work for three upcoming exhibitions. I need to make some money as well. I’m poor.
What meanings do you intend to fill the empty bodies of your work with?
I don’t want to fill my bodies, I want to break these lines and work with emptiness.
What is art for you?
Result of waking up ill.
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*All images are courtesy of Francisco Hurtz