Like Queer Animals:
We Hold Your Gaze
Like Queer Animals:
We Hold Your Gaze

Jessie Mott and Chantal Nadeau

The Catacombs

December 10, 2021 to February 26, 2022

Like Queer Animals (LQA), the collaborative team of artist Jessie Mott and writer and queer scholar Chantal Nadeau, presents the exhibition We Hold Your Gaze in the Catacombs.

Mott and Nadeau’s multidisciplinary practice mobilizes various forms of writing, visual art and audio performance, revealing an abiding interest in researching and reshaping material and cultural creature morphologies. The collaborative team seeks to unsettle gender fluid and species-bending creatures as they move on and about in a public space filled with racial, gender and sexual divides. The creatures, with their multiple sets of eyes, colorful hybrid bodies, and complex emotional scale, provide alternative ways to occupy, mark and reshape the cityscape. Wild and furious at heart, their creatures activate a queer archive of emotions in an effort to “collect feelings, store them, or save them” as a means to live, survive and reimagine the present.

We Hold Your Gaze hones LQA’s commitment to shape queer feelings as defiant and proud postures. With their ludic embodiments, their creatures stand tall to historical and social forms of adversity. Each creature tells the story of another: imagined, real, or failed. Each creature connects with one another in sensuous moments of solidarity.

The exhibition includes all new work: several works on paper, screen prints on fabric and audio.

Plan Your Visit
about the artists
About Chantal Nadeau

Chantal Nadeau is French-Québécoise and lives in Chicago. She is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her scholarship and teaching centers on of sex, power, politics, queer studies, cinema and legal cultures. She is the author of two monographs: Fur Nation: From The Beaver to Brigitte Bardot (Routledge 2001), and Queer Courage (Fordham University Press, 2022). Her work in French and in English has appeared in numerous edited collections and journals in the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.K. Recently, Nadeau has used non-creative fiction to convey her critique of violence, trauma and sexuality. Les trouées [Full of Holes] is her first publication with Hamac (2020) and she is currently working on her second raw slam poetry book Corps (Me)Tal.

About Jessie Mott

Jessie Mott is a Chicago-based artist whose work spans an array of media, including drawing, painting, ceramics and collaborative projects. She is best known for her watercolor drawings of hybrid creatures that explore a perverse fascination with the “natural” world where erotic fantasy, queer monstrosity, and the threat of violence, both real and imagined, coalesce within portrait-like frames. Animations made with the artist and writer Steve Reinke have been screened widely at national and international venues such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, VIDEOEX International Experimental Film & Video Festival in Zürich and the Whitney Biennial. Mott has also participated in numerous group and solo shows including Devening Projects + Editions and the Hyde Park Art Center.

About Chantal Nadeau

Chantal Nadeau is French-Québécoise and lives in Chicago. She is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her scholarship and teaching centers on of sex, power, politics, queer studies, cinema and legal cultures. She is the author of two monographs: Fur Nation: From The Beaver to Brigitte Bardot (Routledge 2001), and Queer Courage (Fordham University Press, 2022). Her work in French and in English has appeared in numerous edited collections and journals in the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.K. Recently, Nadeau has used non-creative fiction to convey her critique of violence, trauma and sexuality. Les trouées [Full of Holes] is her first publication with Hamac (2020) and she is currently working on her second raw slam poetry book Corps (Me)Tal.

About Jessie Mott

Jessie Mott is a Chicago-based artist whose work spans an array of media, including drawing, painting, ceramics and collaborative projects. She is best known for her watercolor drawings of hybrid creatures that explore a perverse fascination with the “natural” world where erotic fantasy, queer monstrosity, and the threat of violence, both real and imagined, coalesce within portrait-like frames. Animations made with the artist and writer Steve Reinke have been screened widely at national and international venues such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, VIDEOEX International Experimental Film & Video Festival in Zürich and the Whitney Biennial. Mott has also participated in numerous group and solo shows including Devening Projects + Editions and the Hyde Park Art Center.