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Queer Art & Archives

Adornments by Roxy Moon


For this project, I knit recreations of buttons held in the Arquives. In creating this project, I wanted to think through how ephemera exists at the boundaries and limits of the archive. Even in archival contexts, with research and care being put into tracing records and materials, there is only so much that is knowable. In this, I wanted to explore how users of archives are able to trace their own histories and recreate the care practices present in archival materials. To me, buttons contain a large breadth of histories (who they were worn by, what they were worn on, were they kept as memorabilia) that have been lost to time, and we are able to speculate on their general usages but we cannot know for these histories for sure. Queer movements and histories can exist at the boundaries of the known, with archival materials often being ephemeral or only pertaining to certain, dominant communities. As hard as we try to keep memories alive, memory keeping institutions can only do so much, and we, through various means, can piece together the whispers that these institutions offer us. Buttons, and their intangible histories, offer us lingerings of a queer past, but we can never know for certain what that past is. 

Arquives Accession Codes

CB1945 (Be My Comrade)

CB2038 (I’m One Too)

CB2090 (I [heart] Trans People)

CB2332 (I [heart] Being Gay)