Queer Frames #2: Tan de repente

I’ve been working on Tan de repente / Suddenly (Lerman, 2002) for a while and this image exemplifies something in its queerness that appeals to me. The play of looks undercuts the couple form: Lenin (in the middle) looks slyly at Mao (on right), cutting across Mao’s desiring gaze at Marcia (left). Mao wants Marcia and she’s willing to kidnap her. Lenin is willing to help out. Marcia is kind of willing to be abducted. Consent is tricky in a way that makes sexuality uncomfortable. The grafitti isn’t just urban style because the economy is collapsing and people are taking to the streets. The whole affair is about using public spaces in dissident ways, ways that aren’t necessarily legal. – RG