Attached to history
in Bound together
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Attachments to historical and archival sources are at the center of Nayland Blake’s 2012 installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Entitled FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX! the components of the exhibition, as well as one of its public programs (a piercing demonstration conducted by Blake and his long-time familiar Lolita Wolf), is the subject of the seventh chapter. As a young artist Blake was a participant in San Francisco’s changing arts landscape, and his relation to the massive development of the South of Market area (where YBCA is located, and also where many leather bars and institutions were established), structures his questions about San Francisco’s leather histories. By literally attaching himself to a reproduction of an iconic mural decorating one of San Francisco’s earliest leather bars, Blake stages an encounter with history, exhorting his audience to participate in claiming historical networks and lineages.

Bound together

Leather, sex, archives, and contemporary art

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