Wellington-based artist Aliyah Winter is currently exhibiting Speaking Without Words (2019) and artist-made stickers in our exhibition Queer Algorithms. 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your work that has been in Gus Fisher Gallery’s  exhibition programme?

I first developed this work last year for Hobiennale in Hobart, Tasmania. This work is partially a response to recent organising efforts by an anti-trans group, it was very much a  process of following my instincts and responding accordingly. The video “Speaking without words” is an amalgamation of phrases, both from pro-trans and anti-trans people, with the intention of exposing and rerouting some of the damaging language through language play. I also created some phallic stickers which appear outside and throughout the gallery,  which are riffing off of stickers with transmisogynist messaging pasted up by anti-trans activists around Aotearoa.

Aliyah Winter, Speaking Without Words, 2019. Photograph by Sam Hartnett. 

Aliyah Winter, Artist-made stickers, 2019. Photograph by Sam Hartnett.

2. What have you been working on since then?

Recently jumping off from the research from this work, I’ve been drafting an article looking at the role of trans exclusionary ideas within queer historical projects and how this has  shaped representations of transfemininity in Aotearoa’s queer history. I’m trying to take a break during the lockdown though lol.

3. How have you been affected by Covid-19 professionally?

Currently working from home, and will be taking on a new job in the middle of lockdown. I’m extremely privileged to be financially secure, but will be difficult being isolated from family, blood and chosen.

4. What are you doing to entertain/occupy yourself in self-isolation?

I’m making the most of house party and zoom, trying to record some mixes, have a couple books to get through and a bunch of movies and tv shows lined up. Possibly a new project in the mix we will see how it goes.

5. Do you have any podcast, book, television, etc. recommendations for us?

I’ve been reading Carmen’s biography and loving it, also have to reccomend ​feeld​ by Jos Charles as the hybrid medieval/internet speak language was a massive influence for my  work in Queer Algorithms. Recently got into podcasts in a big way, standouts are All My Relations, One from the Vaults, Marsha’s Plate, and Nymphowars (if you want to laugh till you cry). I often re-watch the animated Aeon Flux series: sexy, apocalyptic sci-fi. Perfect for the lockdown.

Aliyah Winter, Artist-made stickers, 2019. Photograph by Sam Hartnett.