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Queer Space: Architecture and Same-Sex Desire Hardcover – March 19, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Discussions of gay culture and gay politics traditionally have concerned "civil rights," "artistic influence," and "sexual freedom." Rarely has the concept of how gay people relate to material space been addressed. Aaron Betsky's Queer Space: Architecture and Same-Sex Desire is an important, ground-breaking book that examines how homosexual people live in physical space and how they are in the forefront of creating new concepts of space, for themselves as well as for the rest of the world. Queer Space is smart, well written, and filled with illustrations. Betsky's thesis--that "the purpose of queer space is ultimately sex"--is passionately argued and highly convincing. This is a major work of gay and social studies.

From Library Journal

In this follow-up to Building Sex (Morrow, 1995), Betsky, curator of art and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, attempts to reveal a historical interrelationship among a gay sensibility, design, and culture. Offering no real definition of the word queer, which he incessantly uses as noun, verb, and adjective, Betsky fails to differentiate it from his use of homosexual and gay as he focuses predominantly on spaces associated with the sexual activities of white, middle-class gay males. Disappointingly, his fatuous prose and unsubstantiated generalizations undermine his sincere attempts to explore this complex and fascinating topic: "Cruising through the city or cyberspace, the queer privateers move from their operatic colonies to the dirty delights of sex clubs, opening up the tightly packed, floating communal oval of a ship, a queer ark always looking for a port. I hope it remains always afloat." Recommended only for architecture collections in academic libraries and larger gay studies collections.?Jim Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 231 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (March 19, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688143016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688143015
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Reinewald on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Het begrip Queer Space is onvertaalbaar in het Nederlands. In het "traditionele" Engels betekent queer vreemd, maar is het ook slang voor homoseksueel; "van de verkeerde kant." In de Verenigde Staten voeren jonge homo's het voormalige scheldwoord queer als geuzennaam. Die dubbele betekenis van queer space past goed bij de - door hetero's - vaak als vreemd ervaren privé-omgeving van de op zichzelf, op de eigen sekse gerichte woonruimte. Ook In Nederland zetten homoseksuele ontwerpers nieuwe stijlen, die na enige tijd salonfähig worden. Maar is een heel boek, gewijd aan het "homoseksuele" interieur door de eeuwen heen, niet te ver gezocht of een preek voor eigen parochie? Toch niet. De (in Nederland opgegroeide) Amerikaanse auteur Aaron Betsky gaat onvermijdelijk speculatief, provocatief en persoonlijk te werk. Toch tilt hij zijn betoog uit boven louter sociologische of homo-emancipatoire connotaties uit en blijft het vooral toch een verhandeling over het vormgeven van binnen- en buitenruimtes. Stijlelementen uit de queer space evolueerden tot openbare ruimtes als sportclubs, ontmoetingscentra of discotheken, waarin de (homo)seksualiteit het duidelijkste geëtaleerd wordt. Betsky signaleert verder ook hoe homo's de nondescripte restomgeving van de stad ontdekten als "jachtgebied".
Vòòr de seksuele revolutie in de jaren zeventig leidden veel homo's als "derde sekse" in het Westen een verborgen leven. Ze "zaten in de kast", omdat ze niet voor hun geaardheid konden uitkomen. Daardoor fungeerde hun directe woonomgeving als spiegel van hun leven.
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