The Lavender Menace Occupation started as a means of queering public space or expanding the number of public/private spaces that hold room for specifically targeted and marginalized populations. The first iteration took place in Coles Bar, a part of the 2016 2nd Flr Rear Festival, and asked participants to answer the prompt “Who do you make room for?” by writing their answers on the walls with paint markers. While the installation was a part of an alternative art space festival, it was the unsuspecting bar patrons who were the most enthusiastic about contributing to the project. Over the course of the evening, we were able to collect a variety of positive responses that counteracted the standard angry and aggressive messages scrawled on the walls of public bathrooms. From there it seemed apparent that we needed to produce more events that interrupt the cynicism found in the public space by providing affirmative alternatives.
Public bathrooms pose as an important place caught between public and private space. In this current political climate, the bathroom has been transformed into a barrier that enforces false binaries, forced segregation and is often seen as an issue in the war of words that is perpetuated by a conservative agenda. The Lavender Menace Occupation intends to be a disruption of gender-based politics. Through the development of communally generative installations, LMO hopes to contribute to growing a movement to subvert the status quo.
12 pm // free entry // 21+