My queerness often feels like a collage—deriving from the French word coller or to stick together—as it often requires pulling apart and piecing together of disparate experiences and understandings in hopes of moving towards wholeness. Flight Map grabs hold of multiple queer histories within my own family—in particular the lives of my cousin Rithy and non-binary relative Tony. In this work our queerness is not isolated from one another; it exists in the same place and time. It does not fade into a whisper but instead is woven into my family’s visual memory. Here, queer flight—with all of its young decisions, leaving, distance, and transformation—is a journey where three generations meet and form an assemblage of queer ancestry and knowledge. I begin this work with a question: What if queerness held the same significance and care as the wedding photograph or the family portrait? In other words, what if queerness itself was the center?
Meet the Artist
Michael Khuth (he/him/his) is a Khweer interdisciplinary artist interested in image-making as a means to explore how family archives, memory/remembering, and femininity shape his understanding of queerness and vice versa. He is the founder of Generation Magazine (@generation__magazine), an art publication dedicated to amplifying the voices of various generations throughout the Khmer diaspora. His forthcoming curatorial endeavor, Seaing and Seeing, will take the form of an exhibition that seeks to celebrate contemporary Southeast Asian visionaries.
Michael received his Bachelor’s in Media and Cultural Studies from Macalester College. Khuth has received the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, the Emerging Curators Institute Fellowship, the JGS Imagining America Photography & Digital Media Fellowship, and the Macalester Live It! Fund Grant. He was raised and currently works in Rochester, Minnesota.