Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

Scott Hug: Curator of B-Out

by John Critelli

Photo by Anthony Thornton

Are you tired of conforming to people’s expectations?

Then visit B-Out, an exhibition curated by Scott Hug at Andrew Edlin Gallery. The exhibition, which runs until August 18, encourages people to break free from social norms. And despite the name, B-Out is not just about the norms that restrict LGBT people.

That’s because Hug thinks that most people are restricted by society’s limited views. In fact, he encourages all sorts of people to enter B-Out‘s fantastical environment, which he compares to something out of Alice in Wonderland.

Read below for our full interview with Hug, where he discusses creating this environment and more:

Photo courtesy of the Andrew Edlin Gallery

AiOP: What do you hope people will gain from attending B-Out?

Hug: That making art is not necessarily a “career decision” but a lifestyle and that art is not just a “commodity” or decorative art object but can be also be a tool for social awareness and change. And that being on the fringes is where one is free to go beyond the norm. I hope that young artists will see this show and be inspired to make art that not only challenges the viewer but the institution as well.

Photo courtesy of the Andrew Edlin Gallery

AiOP: What was the biggest challenge in curating this exhibition?

Hug: The time frame – I had a little over a month to put this show together.

AiOP: Why did curating B-OUT appeal to you?

Hug: I was happy to have a job where I felt passionate about something, and I really just wanted to have fun!

Photo courtesy of the Andrew Edlin Gallery

AiOP: The gallery floors and walls were changed for this exhibition, and several doors were added to the long hallway. What is the purpose of these modifications?

Hug: Both modifications are artistic interpretations on the theme of “being out”. The doors are an art project by the collective known as the Fantastic Nobodies and the blue walls and black and white checkered tile floor and blue furniture is the brilliant concept of my interior designer friend, Keehnan Konyha.

Two of the Fantastic Nobodies, Marc Grubstein and David Henry Brown Jr., pose with Andrew Edlin, center.

Photo by John Critelli.

AiOP: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about the exhibition, or about yourself?

Hug: Not every artist in the show is gay, and this is not necessarily a show or survey of gay artists since Stonewall, but most are and it’s definitely cross-generational – I purposely chose works by many of my personal heroes like David Wojnarowicz, Ray Johnson, Bern Porter, and Lee Lozano.. It’s not just about being out and proud but about being outside of an increasingly homogenized society of “fitting-in” and conforming. It’s definitely a play on the 60s human “be-ins” – a counterculture of higher awareness and political decentralization. I’m happy to say that I escaped the conformist mentality of the Midwest and found myself in NYC amongst a family of queer artists who continually inspire me and keep pushing the boundaries.

Photo courtesy of the Andrew Edlin Gallery

Note: Be sure to check out Hug’s zine, called K48! You can find it here.  Hug also recommends visiting Keehnan Konyha’s blog here.

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