No Safe Words (G.R.I.D.)

2009
4.0'
CA
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Synopsis

Created by Gonick for Toronto’s Gay Pride in March 2008, No Safe Words exposes the abuse of queers in non-Western nations. Using popular images that reveal the aggressive nature of team sports and the use of punishment and torture by the army, Gonick's critique is an incisive one that links the violence inherent in these socially-sanctioned events to the larger problematic of human rights as it pertains to the LGBTQ community. This multi-screen installation was projected on a JumboTron during Pride weekend but it soon became apparent that its radical message was not as well received by the visitors as the police and military recruitment stations or the March of "out" soldiers and police officers. In this context, the video's commentary on the celebratory nature of neoliberal homonationalism and the indifference to human rights was highlighted by its own incapacity to generate instant connections with most of the queer audience present for the festivities.