Inside Killjoy’s Kastle

9780774861571: Paperback
Release Date: 15th November 2019

9780774861588: PDF
Release Date: 15th September 2019

100 colour photos, 40 b&w photos

Dimensions: 165 x 241

Number of Pages: 288

UBC Press

Inside Killjoy’s Kastle

Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and Other Lesbian Hauntings

Exploring the making and experience of a lesbian feminist haunted house, this book reframes and reclaims queer feminist histories with humour, provocation, and theoretical sophistication.
Paperback / £26.99
Please note that payment will be taken immediately. The book will be delivered to you when it is in stock, as per the publication date.
PDF / £37.00

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 and celebration 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) that materializes the frightfully acrimonious past for today. Inspired by Evangelical Christian hell houses, the exhibition has been staged in three cities so far – Toronto, London, and Los Angeles – inviting visitors to interact with humorous and frightening manifestations of the spirits that haunt feminist and queer history.

Whereas traditional hell houses set out to scare and convert, Killjoy’s Kastle cheekily aims to provoke and pervert, giving expression to old and new anxieties and creating a space for critique, affect, and discussion. Inside Killjoy’s Kastle fills this space by exploring the kastle’s theoretical and political legacies in chapters by queer and feminist scholars and in vignettes by artists who participated in the project. The many colourful photos in the book also bring Killjoy’s Kastle to life, offering an important visual context. By taking the kastle as a starting point, the contributors consider the role of lesbian feminist histories and direct-action aesthetics in contemporary communities, particularly the ways in which political artwork can produce new ways of knowing about the past.

  • Killjoy's Kastle is a feminist lesbian immersive art experience that has already been staged in Toronto (2013), London (2014), and Hollywood (2015). It will open again in Philadelphia in 2019.
  • The project looks at conceptions of lebians over time. It is very funny!
  • This highly illustrated book includes reflections on the project from people who were there, as well as consideration of the feedback and legacy of the project (including a heated Facebook exchange!). It also features artist's testimonies about participating in the event.
  • Many of the contributors and artists featured are well known: they will bring their audiences to this book.
  • This is for those in the art world: readers and artists, particularly those engaged in activist art and/or feminist and queer art and practice. It will also appeal to feminist and queer direct-action communities.

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 and celebration 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: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House, an immersive walk-through installation and performance artwork (by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue) that materializes the frightfully acrimonious past for today. Inspired by Evangelical Christian hell houses, the exhibition has been staged in three cities so far – Toronto, London, and Los Angeles – inviting visitors to interact with humorous and frightening manifestations of the spirits that haunt feminist and queer history.

Whereas traditional hell houses set out to scare and convert, Killjoy’s Kastle cheekily aims to provoke and pervert. The humorous and costumed characters in the kastle – including polyamorous vampiric grannies, a demented women's studies professor, and lesbian zombie folksingers – give expression to old and new anxieties, creating a space for critique, affect, and discussion. Inside Killjoy’s Kastle fills this space by exploring the kastle’s theoretical and political legacies in chapters by queer and feminist scholars and in vignettes by artists who participated in the project. The many colourful photos in the book also bring Killjoy’s Kastle to life, offering an important visual context.

Taking the kastle as a starting point, the contributors to this volume consider the role of lesbian feminist histories and direct-action aesthetics in contemporary queer and feminist communities, particularly the ways in which political artwork can produce new ways of knowing about the past.

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 and celebration 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, 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.

This book will appeal to audiences of queer and feminist art; scholars and students of gender, women’s, and sexuality studies, queer theory, art criticism, and performance studies; queer and feminist cultural and direct-action communities; and those who have toured the Kastle to date or have heard about it through the heated media coverage or online discussions.

Lesbian Rule: Welcome to the Hell House / Cait McKinney and Allyson Mitchell

RISING FROM THE DEAD: INCEPTION

1 Scaling Up and Sharing Out Dyke Culture: Killjoy’s Kastle’s Haunted Block Party / Heather Love

  • Lesbianizing the Institution: The Haunting Effects of Killjoy Hospitality at the Art Gallery of York University / Emelie Chhangur

2 Feminist Killjoys (and Other Wilful Subjects) / Sara Ahmed

  • Killjoy in the ONE Archives: Activating Los Angeles’s Queer Art and Activist Histories / David Evans Frantz

THE KASTLE: EXECUTION

3 Inside Job: Learning, Collaboration, and Queer-Feminist Contagion in Killjoy’s Kastle / Helena Reckitt

  • Valerie Solanas as the Goddamned Welcoming Committee / Felice Shays
  • Valerie Solanas Script

4 Playing Demented Women’s Studies Professor Tour Guide, or Performing Monstrosity in Killjoy’s Kastle / Moynan King

  • Demented Women’s Studies Professor Tour Guide Script
  • The Sound of White Girls Crying / Nazmia Jamal
  • Paranormal Killjoys / Ginger Brooks Takahashi
  • Menstruating Trans Man / Chase Joynt
  • A Ring around Your Finger Is a Cord around Your Genitals! / Chelsey Lichtman
  • Once upon a Time I Was a Riot Ghoul / Kalale Dalton-Lutale
  • Riot Ghoul / Andie Shabbar
  • Inconvenienced / Madelyne Beckles
  • On the Cusp of the Kastle / Karen Tongson

5 Processing Killjoy’s Kastle: A Deep Lez Performance / Ann Cvetkovich

THE CRYPT: ARCHIVING AND REFLECTION

  • Facebook Statements: “We Learn More Every Time We Do This”

6 Reflections of a Real-Life Feminist Killjoy: Ball-Busters and the Recurring Trauma of Intergenerational Queer-Feminist Life / Kyla Wazana Tompkins

  • R.I.P. Little Frida’s / Chris E. Vargas

7 Home Sick: Horror, Gothic Storytelling, and the Queers Who Haunt Houses / S. Trimble

8 The Graveyards of Community Gathering: Archiving Lesbian and Feminist Life in London / Catherine Grant

  • Leave Britney Alone! and Other Ghostly Feelings / Tobias B.D. Wiggins

Index

Allyson Mitchell is an independent artist, an associate professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at York University, and she runs FAG Feminist Art Gallery with her partner/collaborator Deirdre Logue. Cait McKinney is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.

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