A Cartography of the Middle of Nowhere, Léann Herlihy

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a cartography of the middle of nowhere is a charting of spatial ontologies which centre ideals and areas of radical resistance for those who dwell in the margins. Unfolding out into a large-scale map, this publication consists of a speculative text, pragmatic diagrams and an exercise for the reader inside.

Transgressing beyond the boundaries of language, ‘a cartography of the middle of nowhere’ becomes a subjective area of geographic desire wherein each individual’s map is informed by autobiographic, mythologic and embodied performances of the self. Written from the perspective of a queer wayfinder, this map is demarcated by leaky boundaries; edges that expand, dilute and shift to accommodate the evolving environment in which queers and queer desires are situated. Rather than being located in the bullseye, the middle of this queer nowhere becomes decentred as it navigates the encroaching peripheries of somewhere. On the run from a dominant society, the middle is unfixed, ephemeral and fleeting.

With this in mind, the mathematical topology of the Möbius strip becomes the middle of nowhere’s floorplan. Chugging like a conveyor belt of navigation, the reader runs the risk of never securing what they desire yet endure the repetitive cycle of collision, collapse and (re)surfacing in a bid to find it.

Léann Herlihy is an artist and researcher based in Dublin. The methodological fulcrum of their practice pivots around academic studies in queer theory and feminist epistemologies which they utilise in tandem with live action, performance, video, sculpture, and text. Pairing gestural action with in-depth research, their practice employs an emancipatory paradigm that actively destabilises gendered and sexualised dichotomies in an overtly heteronormative society.

Paperback, 2022
12.5 x 23.8cm
Designer: Kimberly Goes
Publisher: Project Arts Centre.