On Longing

On View February 25th-April 9, 2022

Monaco, St. Louis, MO. 

Through their working process that spans over a decade, Ryan Patrick Krueger transcends archival impulse into an alluring presentation of materials sourced from online auctions, old magazines and yearbooks. In doing so, they concretize what otherwise exists as ephemeral, liminal, and hidden away. Their selection focuses on a “pre-stonewall” period of Gay American history, paying homage to a lost visual culture while searching for expressions of masculine intimacy and tenderness in a time that has been marked in response to violence, hatred, and disgust. The resulting body of work is a carefully crafted preservation of artifacts of love unforgotten; the sweeter moments of the space in-between.

Echoed in the philosophical and poetic claim about language made within the show’s titular reference, Krueger asks us to substantiate the power of context by reimagining that “space-between” in terms of what is and is not articulated in photographs. Their work aspires to share what has not been said, what has not had space for being uttered other than what is held behind the curtain of a photo booth, between age-stained pages of a yearbook or kept secret in lost canisters of film. Krueger’s On Longing offers a quiet reformation of the tender moments and the archive, connecting the affect and complexities of masculine intimacy with the weight of what is missed.  - Kalaija Mallery

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