Erin Moore, “Personal”

Erin Moore
Baltimore, Maryland

Relief, Risograph
Closed: 5 x 1 x 10″ Opened: 18 x 3 x 10″

Artist Statement

Personal is an intimate dive into the world of queer personal ads. This flag book opens to display twenty-four personal ads sourced from various gay, lesbian, and transgender publications, ranging from the early seventies to mid-nineties. Similar to the layouts of its source material, the ads in Personal are stacked in narrow rows and columns and printed monochromatically on a Risograph (a close cousin of the Mimeograph used by many of the magazines). The dimensionality provided by the flag structure encourages the reader to shift and fold the book to discover each ad.

Personal was curated to showcase the broad variety of purposes that personal ads served for queer communities. There is no true organization to the ads; pleas for romantic partners and messages to dear friends are intermixed with those looking for quick hookups or players for a softball team. However, in every case there is the sense that the writer was searching for a connection in a society that depended on their isolation.This search for connection is something that transcends the barriers of any decade or sub-community, proving the relevance of these ads today. Personal uses archived material as a bridge to our queer elders, allowing us to see ourselves in their humor, love, desires, and perseverance.

Source publications:
Onyx Black Lesbian Newsletter
Philadelphia Gay News
New Gay Life
Echo of Sappho
Up and Coming
The Lesbian Tide