GenderFail Archive Project, 2018-2020. Books, risograph prints, custom screen-printed pillowcases.
Genderfail is an imperfect publishing platform that looks at failure—from personal, public, and political perspectives—as a boundless form of creative potential.*
Genderfail: An Anthology on Failure 2—Building On Our Failed States, 2020.
Genderfail’s Anthology on Failure series explores notions of failure through the writing of artists, activists, writers, and curators. The most recent book, Building On Our Failed States, was compiled in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, chronicling experiences of job loss, survival, and community organizing during the pandemic.† A highlight of the book is the essay, “A Call for Complaint: For Plague Speech, For Sick Speech,” by an unnamed art school professor on the response of higher education institutions:
“In this moment, our communities express radical creativity—the chain of mentors, peers, teachers, students and colleagues, who sustain us in the pursuit of learning, despite the institution’s violence. With them, we can ask again: who do we exert ourselves for?”
A selection of publications from Genderfail Archive Project, including R.I.S.E Indigenous, Press Press, Nat Pyper, Viva Ruiz, Ancestral Pride, Gato Negro Ediciones, Liz Barr, Tiny Splendor, Nightboat Books, The Anarchist Library, and Queer.Archive.Work.
Distinct from Genderfail publications, the Genderfail Archive Project reading room is an act of appropriation and mutual aid, using the exhibition as a site to platform zines, art books, and artists books that GenderFail founder, Be Oakley, has collected over many years. Responding to the limited cannon of references shaping academic curatorial research and art school pedagogy, this iteration of the Genderfail Archive Project includes over 40 publications selected by the curator that resonate with TITLE TBD’s themes of love, labor, crisis, and becoming.
*Be Oakley, “GenderFail Mission”
†Be Oakley. “Two Years Of False States, Failures and Beautiful Moments.” Genderfail: An Anthology on Failure 2—Building On Our Failed States (2020): 5.
‡Anonymous. “A Call for Complaint: For Plague Speech, For Sick Speech.” Genderfail: An Anthology on Failure 2—Building On Our Failed States (2020): 115.
Be Oakley (GenderFail) is a writer, facilitator, and publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. They received their MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. In 2015, they started GenderFail a programming and publishing platform that looks to highlight an intersectional queer subjectivity. They have been a part of projects, programming and exhibitions including The Studio Museum in Harlem (Radical Reading Room, 2019), Williams College Museum of Art (Queer Zines, 2019), MoMA PS1 (Past and Future Fictions, 2018), The International Center of Photography (Queering the Collection, 2018), among many others. They will be having their first solo exhibition in New York at The Center for Book Arts (2020). Their publications can be found in the library collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Book Arts, Tate Museum Zine Library, among others.