Article: Zine herstory featuring Vaginal Davis, Elyssa Goodman for Them magazine

Elyssa Goodman has written for them magazine, tracing the prominence of drag through queer zine herstory, including a focus on Vaginal Davis’s extensive text production and self-publishing activity.

Elyssa spoke with Index’ Curator of Learning Isabella Tjäder on the day of the opening for Vaginal Davis: HOFPFISTEREI, discussing the significance of Fertile La Toyah Jackson Magazine and more.

“Not only did [Vaginal Davis] address the culture she was a part of, she managed to capture the performative, expressive post-punk queercore world in a 2D format, which is not easy to do, according to Isabella Tjäder, Curator of Learning at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, which is now hosting an exhibition of Davis’s text-based work, HOFPFISTEREI.

The fact that Fertile La Toyah Jackson Magazine was a dominant force in the zine world, and incorporated drag, no less, is incredibly powerful. Seeing drag documented in traditional media spaces at the time was extremely rare, and even more rare was the possibility of seeing drag-related media created by drag artists. Davis made space for herself the way she saw fit, and in doing so made space for others. Still, Tjäder says, Davis never saw the work she was doing at the time as anything more than something to be thrown away. Only now, as the understanding of drag’s importance has changed – even among its original participants – are drag zines now being showcased in galleries and museums around the world.”

Read the article here.