The GLQ Gallery features Allyson Mitchell’s 2010 installation for the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, A Girl’s Journey into the Well of Forbidden Knowledge. In a plus-sized version of a sculpture gallery, two large ladies, in luminescent gold and silver, face two walls of books, attached to each other and to a giant crochet brain overhead by a crochet rope that links their crotches to the brain. Mitchell recreated a version of the Lesbian Herstory Archives reading room in Brooklyn by covering the walls of the gallery with trompe l’oeil wallpaper made from drawings of the books on the shelves. In addition to photographs of the installation, the GLQ Gallery features examples of Mitchell’s original drawings.
In a brief commentary on the installation, Ann Cvetkovich discusses how Mitchell brings lesbian feminist history and culture to a larger public and creates an “archive of feelings” through the affective labor of redrawing the Lesbian Herstory Archives shelves. The Gallery also features Mitchell’s Deep Lez I statement, a manifesto that calls for a return to lesbian feminist culture as a resource for contemporary queer cultures.