An arts magazine founded by Alex Matraxia and Magda Hunt Onatra
(Please contact either editor for a copy).
During an interview with VogueWorld, the fashion duo Steven Raj Bhaskaran and Hannah Rose Dalston, more commonly known as ‘Fecal Matter’, told their interviewer, ‘This is not costume, this is me’. Sect_Viscera is not a ‘drag mag’. This magazine is not just about platforming style, but embodiment: how queer people, alienated from a society that defines what it is to be ‘gendered’ or ‘Human’, have met with this pressure face-to-face in creative, radical ways.
We believe there is proof in the importance of visibility. Claims for radicalness of a magazine can only go so far, but we can see work like this as a starting point, that we might be inspired by each other. This is not so much about fashion as it is celebrating visuality outside of an industry that often coopts our bodies. Visual artist Parma Ham explained in our interview with them: ‘We aren’t artefacts saying things; we are agents living and doing the things that art lies to talk about’. This is why our contributors are so special and inspiring, they are radical bodies in practice.
For trans people subjected to transphobia, and trans-misogyny, for gender-queer people marked by violence against their bodies, for queer people of colour (often underrepresented by platforming that centres whiteness), ideas of gender are culturally informed, and find their basis in exclusion. Many more communities, groups and traditions are calling for attention and time, and it’s our responsibility to listen. Queerness intersects with class and race in ways that repeat privilege and whiteness; we’d do well not to forget this in building new spaces.
In a society that determines which bodies matter, and which one’s don’t, it’s a question of politics as well as aesthetics to ask: what does it mean to be human? The Berlin based artist Hungry says, ‘I think society is coming around to the idea that it’s not a gender binary, that is not one or the other, that it can be anything in between … that it can be species and creatures that we haven’t even fantasised before’.
Sect_Viscera wants to draw attention to the way queer people today are exploring every avenue of what it means to be queer, to be visibly queer in ways that throw straight labels of the body into apocalypse. In Bjork’s song, ‘Utopia’, the artist sings of a ‘Bird species never before seen or heard’. We’d like to think that’s what we have here in this magazine, beautiful individuals who together might for-see the future, a community that gives us a glimpse at what a queer utopia might look like. Even if this is just our naivety, overpowering our ability to think ‘straight’ about the world we can’t help but have hope. After all, is imagining not the first step to becoming?
- words by Alex Matraxia