Who is Crawford Barton? Well, after this weekend you will know.
This Friday and Saturday only, the local and collaborative “idea collective” John Q (Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler, Joey Orr) present their latest work, The Campaign for Atlanta, taking place inside Atlanta’s historic Cyclorama. They describe the visual essay as as “a culmination of public discussions had at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco (part of the National Queer Arts Festival) and here at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.” John Q will be included in a group show at Kennesaw State University fall of 2014.
Last August, John Q presented archival material from the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco (in collaboration with their research partners in SF) at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. The talk—structured as sort of a current research-based progress report—focused on queer history and archival strategies in U.S. cities. Audience members received their first introduction into Crawford Barton‘s identity through archival material the museum houses: for example, a silky and braided lock of hair and several reels of 8mm film footage (a teaser had been digitized for the audience).
From John Q:
The Campaign for Atlanta tells intertwining stories of migration, memory, and the visual representation of history. The Cyclorama’s large-scale, panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta is itself an artifact that traveled from city to city before landing permanently in Atlanta. A century after the Civil War, a young photographer and gay man named Crawford Barton left his hometown of Resaca, Georgia (site of the earliest skirmishes in the Atlanta Campaign). He migrated to Atlanta and then San Francisco. In the heady days between Gay Liberation and the AIDS epidemic, he created photographs of San Francisco gay culture that are now considered iconic. The Campaign for Atlanta features Barton’s exhilarating super-8mm movies of 1970s San Francisco, Resaca, and Atlanta, archived and unseen for decades.
Presenting the story of Barton’s journey within the Cyclorama’s space, The Campaign for Atlanta uncovers connections between 19th-century landscapes and the “on the road” 20th-century counterculture; between military history and museum display; and between new types of movement: in the panorama, on the cinema screen, and from country to city and back again.
This is huge for Atlanta! Combining contemporary artistic platforms and historically-imbued venues is not only contextually compelling, but also will hopefully forge a path for more challenging public works in our city. Without knowing any further details, (we’re in the dark too!), we hope to see you there.
John Q is an idea collective consisting of Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler, and Joey Orr. Since forming in 2009, John Q has presented programs and exhibitions with Flux Projects, Mondo Homo, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco. John Q was one of the previous Artadia Atlanta award recipients and one of Elsewhere’s 2013 NEA Southern Constellations Fellowship. Their first event, Memory Flash, received Honorable Mention for the Allan Bérubé Prize and was named Best Public Art Performance by Creative Loafing magazine.
800 Cherokee Avenue, Grant Park 30315
Tickets are $8 each and available at Cyclorama on each day of the event.
Reception at 6:30pm, event starts at 7pm and ends at 8pm.