Strip Curtain, 2018, flagging tape ribbons, H3600 x W2255.
Strip curtains like this one can often be found hanging in seaside gift and chip shops, used to separate public areas from the private. Installed here, this curtain serves a similar purpose, acting as a border between the different areas of the gallery. Influenced by Oskar Hansen’s theory of open form (1959), which included ideas about eliminating divisions and which emphasised the creative role of the individual as the co-author of space, this work invites participants to move freely between these different areas, constructing a social space through this activity. Additionally, the division between public and private spaces are explored in the publication QUEERS READ THIS, published anonymously in 1990, which states that ‘being queer is not about a right to privacy; it is about the freedom to be public’.
Marking the viewer’s transition from the blue room in to the pink, or from the pink in to the blue, the act of crossing over from one space in to another is often what people consider gender transition to be. The placement of this work, in a neutral corridor, attempts to highlight the variations within this idea, opening up the possibility of seeing the curtain as a barrier between more than just pink or blue. The coloured stripes build upon this, using the colours of the Transgender Pride Flag to replace the subdued pastel colours from the curtains Fox remembers from his childhood seaside holidays in the family caravan. This piece continues a theme within Fox’s practice that explores the connection between gender transition and the crossing of borders and boundaries.