The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
75 Bennett Street Atlanta, GA 30309





Discursive Documents: Performing the Catalogue

Image: John Q, Untitled (Joy Lounge), 2010, stills from 16mm film transferred to DVD, ca. 1968

By John Q
exhibition dates: October 2, 2010 - January 8, 2011

opening reception: Saturday, October 2, 6:30 - 8:30pm (artist talks & topics listed below)

In the MOCA GA Education/Resource Center
ABOUT Discursive Documents: Performing the Catalogue

This project is a catalogue. Earlier this year, John Q proposed that memorials could be public happenings. Presented on April 3, 2010, Memory Flash consisted of four installations in different public spaces, each addressing a specific event in Atlanta queer history in the space where it originally happened. The events were drawn from oral histories, news stories, and other archival sources. As memorials, the only public upkeep was in the remembering or the forgetting. Similarly, the catalogue for this work exists in a place and for a time.

Discursive Documents includes artifacts and sound recordings from Memory Flash, as well as works and ephemera produced by others in response: murals, photographs, documentations, course syllabi, and other texts. A resource table includes these items as well as references and books used in our research. After expanding the archives into the public space for Memory Flash, we are now attempting to expand the catalogue for the event into the space of the museum (and specifically into this museum’s dedicated archival/research space – so, in a sense, Memory Flash returns to the archives).

This catalogue process still has written components. Discursive Memorials: Queer Histories in Atlanta’s Public Spaces was published by Emory’s online journal, Southern Spaces. As for printed matter, John Q has guest curated a special issue of the JOSH (the Journal of Sexual Homos) published by Arts and Sciences PROJECTS, NY. This issue includes images from the four movements of Memory Flash along with works by other artists from the U.S., Mexico, and England concerned with queer memory and place. Read The JOSH, Issue #3 HERE.

Finally, our individual essays for this catalogue take the form of programming. We hope you will be able to join us and participate in them.
Artist Talks -  6:30pm Receptions, 7pm Talks

''The Place of Archives in Theory and Practice"

Artist Talk: Wesley Chenault

Wednesday, October 20


"Art in Research, Research in Art"

Panel Discussion: Moderated by Joey Orr

Panelists: Joey Orr, Teresa Bramlette-Reeves, Anna Grimshaw, and Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier

Thursday, November 4


"Memory, Sound, Performance"

Artist Talk: Andy Ditzler

Thursday, December 9



Southern Spaces, "Discursive Memorials: Queer Histories in Atlanta's Public Spaces"

Creative Loafing, "Discursive Documents at MOCA GA," by Wyatt Williams



John Q is an artist collective whose name references “John Q. Public.” The “public” is left understood, though the work is considered a kind of public scholarship, and the “Q” is left hanging to reference the group’s interest in queer history and politics.

The collective consists of Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr.

Image: Bo Shell/ GA Voice, Untitled (Jolly 12), 2010, Digital photograph on archival paper

Wesley Chenault is an archivist with experience in academic, non-profit, and government repositories. He is an independent scholar with a doctorate in American Studies and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies. His interests in memory, place, and identity take forms as diverse as collection development, exhibitions, public art, teaching, and traditional scholarship.


Andy Ditzler is a composer, performer, and curator working in Atlanta. He studied percussion in the School of Music at Indiana University, and is currently studying in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University. Ditzler is the founder of Frequent Small Meals, a record label and production company. He also curates and hosts the Film Love series, exploring the history of experimental film and video.

Joey Orr’s curatorial work has focused almost exclusively on installation and public intervention, from alternative, grassroots venues to museum, commercial, and municipal exhibition spaces. He was founder of ShedSpace (2000-2004), holds a Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently a doctoral student in Emory University’s Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts.