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Will Ballantyne-Reid - Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise
18 - 23 May 2019
Opening 17th May 2019 6-8:30pm

We are taught to learn from the tree, to become from a knowledge deeply rooted, knowledge planted by others. We are taught to be taught, to follow arboreal threads of knowing and living, branched by those before us. We should be new green shoots, offshoot, not stray but grow from that which already exists, to continue the tree’s upward claw, supported by that vast subterranean network of rooted knowledge.

To grow queer is to break off, unmoor, unlearn, re-learn, self-teach, self-know, self-grow and then self sow. To learn to become something that isn’t taught to you is to look for knowledge elsewhere, to that which isn’t handed down, that which has a different lineage, different channels, different classrooms; those of bar stools, clubs, public transport and bathrooms; to learn how to speak from sideways glances and from apps the colour and feel of beehives. To self-teach is to archive touches, commit signals to memory, be taught by experience. To uncover new worlds inside the cellophane sleeves of magazines; to re-learn what can be man through the sailors and thieves of Genet, the wrestlers and cowboys of Mizer - the queer heroics of the boys’ boys.

In the wake of recent protests in Birmingham around the implementation of LGBT+ inclusive education programs in British primary schools, Will Ballantyne-Reid opens an exhibition that looks at his own self-education. Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise images the formation of identity and knowledge through personal archival process, through the collection of totemic objects, imagery, idols, and experiences that guide and reassure in turn. Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise is a cruise through a personal tree of knowledge, a homeschooling, homecoming.

Curated by Helen Neven

Harlesden Job Centre
10/11 Stephen Mews
London W1T 1AQ

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