Diogo Duarte (he/him/they/them)
Diogo Duarte (he/him/they/them), b. 1987, is an Edinburgh-based, Portuguese artist with a specific interest in queer issues. With a background in mental health and bereavement support, his mixed media practice explores themes of queerness, queer futurity, queer utopias, intimacy, sex, identity and mental health.
In 2018, his project ‘Sour-Puss: The Opera’, co-created with sister artist Jessica Mitchell was a finalist at Portugal’s Photography Biennial – BF18 – and in 2021 published as an art book by GOST Books and launched at the Grand Palais during Paris Photo Fair.
His most recent body of work – ‘Caretaking’ – explores queer futurity through the language of occultism and cruising grounds where men have sex with men. It looks at cruising spaces where intimacy, sex, relationships, personal and collective trauma are reformatted and new narratives of queer sex utopias are spun.
His work has been widely exhibited, including in the UK, Japan, Italy, USA, Canada, Russia and Portugal. His work was sold at auction at Getty Image’s Gallery in London in aid of the mental health charity CALM and at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Canada to support communities to access the arts.
As New York Gallerist Brian Paul Clamp of ClampArt stated, in Diogo’s work “…different worlds collide – gender is distorted; history is rendered with a modern neon glow; fashion bleeds into religion. (Diogo explores) what it means to be a multi-faceted man breaking away from stereotypes in today’s world.”
Diogo also facilitates workshops with charities where he uses photography to enable self-expression and is a freelance tutor at the London School of Photography.
The King’s Jester
Dog Monster (BESTA)
‘Dog Monster (BESTA)’ is an analogue divinatory machine from inside which a participant can pull out a card of an object found in a cruising space for pondering upon. It is an invitation to engage with queer sex utopias and an opportunity to question and expand on them.
‘Dog Monster (BESTA)’ is a creature that lurks in the dark and pulses with light to attract participants. It alludes to ‘whoring’ and the ‘slut’ as utopian practices as the creature repeatedly gets entered by strangers and makes us think about the hands that ‘fisted’ BESTA before us. Thus the artwork is also transported into the realm of queer monstruosity, disrupting categories and space. Participants ‘fist’ a monster and thus become monstrous – and queer – by appendage.
Baa is a 2022 short film directed and performed by Portuguese artist Diogo Duarte.
Baa’s story unfolds – sometimes in a forest clearing, sometimes in liminal space – where its main character grapples with penis orientated rituals and performs cruising sounds and gestures. In Baa, a medieval jester, spell casting, trauma, Hampstead Heath and Inferno sex all come together in unexpected ways to celebrate queer culture.
Baa will premiere at the Mlitt Fine Art Practice Graduate Show at the Glasgow School of Art Stow Building on the 19th August.
Found objects in cruising grounds, cast in wax and blended with essential oils.
Sizes range from 20x16cm approx to 10x9cm approx
Contract (Signed by Satanas, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Elimi, Leviathan, Astaroth and others)
‘Contract’ (Signed by Satanas, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Elimi, Leviathan, Astaroth and others)’ is a textile based piece of work that aims to connect and find parallels between personal trauma, cruising grounds and moments of historical queer defiance. Based on a 1635 alleged pact signed between French priest Urbain Grandier and several demonic entities and court evidence against alleged witch Elizabeth Clarke, the work maps temporal spaces where contracts, trauma and sex are negotiated. The tapestry combines illustration, Google street view screenshots, photography and an adaptation of the Portuguese tapestry making technique of ‘Arraiolos’ from the middle ages.
Linen with embroidered wool, printed photographs and illustration 254x220cm