Well Hung

Two beautiful abstract collages on cardboard by Mike Boroskey bear witness to untold intimate stories. Way Out is composed of small firecrackers, a black watercolor dragonfly, and a black posterboard ladder pasted over licks of gold paint that look like flames. Squall includes a paper palm tree, pieces of shattered glass, and sheets of colored paper and cardboard that imply the tile floors and walls of a demolished house.

Eugene J. Patron's contribution is a "queer history project." Patron makes use of the closet, a common homosexual metaphor, in his installation. This consists of a wheeled garment rack with eleven hangers, each of which represents a period in South Florida's gay history. The items attached with thread to the hangers range from leaves and an erotic souvenir key chain representing homosexuality in Native American culture to a sequined headdress sprouting pink feathers, an artifact of the drag reviews that emerged in Miami nightclubs after World War II. One particularly revealing hanger is number five, sporting a magnifying glass and a manila folder containing a 1960 report from the Johns Committee files on homosexual activity. An excerpt: "Mendoza, Coral Gables, apartment number unknown. W/M. Age 30. Does not swish. He sings in church choir, is a Protestant, and active church member. Likes to be browned and no collection of photos."

Patron has created a telling minidocumentary of the largely unacknowledged gay history in our area. The installation has a slapdash style that's endearing -- it has the personal feel of someone's closet. Patron's three-dimensional time line is presented not as a piece of art but as a historical project that is on display along with books and other educational material in the gallery. All the same, it's one of the most affecting pieces here and should be seen as part of the show. Standing just inside the door to the space, it provides needed context for the rest of the works.

QueerSpace Visual Exhibition.
Through November 29. ART-ACT, 10 NE 39th St. For information about the exhibition and other QueeRoots/ QueerSpace events this weekend, call 573-7272 or see "Calendar Listings.

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