Hundreds of years of ridicule, persecution, erasure, misunderstanding, and institutionalization could put anyone in a bad mood. Killjoy invites you into her kastle for a queer exorcism of the past.
Lesbian feminist histories can have a haunting effect on the present. This book explores the making and experience of Killjoy’s Kastle,
an immersive walk-through installation and performance artwork (by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue). Inspired by Evangelical Christian hell houses of the past, the exhibition has been staged in three cities so far – Toronto, London, and Los Angeles – engaging thousands in interactive encounters with the spirits that haunt feminist and queer history. Where traditional hell houses set out to scare and convert, Killjoy’s Kastle
cheekily aims to provoke and pervert. Inside Killjoy’s Kastle
extends and reflects on the theoretical and political legacies of the installation in chapters by queer and feminist scholars and in vignettes by participating artists. The many colourful photos in the book also bring the kastle to life, offering an important visual context.
All the rumours are true: lesbian feminist performance artists are terrifying, titillating, and in-your-face political. This book extends the fright and delight of Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Haunted House, revamping the genre of the exhibition catalogue to include, in true feminist fashion, all the various heroines, critics, and guides that influenced and contributed to the project. A book for everyone committed to resisting heteropatriarchal violence, and who wants to laugh (and cry) while doing it.
Heather Davis, editor of Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada
Urgent, necessary, and joyful.
Jennifer Doyle, author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art