Date of Award

Spring 6-6-2024

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)



First Advisor

Erin E. Collins

Second Advisor

Abigail H. Neely

Third Advisor

Luis F. Alvarez León


This project explicates how queer people produce space for themselves through art in New York City amidst the prevalent neoliberal frameworks that have existed since the 1980s. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with queer artists and nonprofit workers, participant observation in art spaces, and close reading of art compiled through archival work, I explore sites of presentation (places in which art is displayed) and modes of presentation (how specific artists decide to present their art). I analyze museums and nonprofit spaces, and engage with queer artists that create what I consider to be site-specific art. I zoom in on spatial art interventions by artists Frederick Weston, Sharon Hayes, and REPOhistory to show how queer artists relate to their personal histories as well as collective histories within the urban, subverting perspectives within human and urban geographies that neglect the personal in favor of larger-scale patterns. I argue that the nonprofit space is an overlooked site of presentation—functioning as what I call an intimate semi-public—that stands in contrast to the neoliberal flattening within the institutional art world. Using a “both-and” approach, the benefits of these organizations can be embraced alongside radical grassroots initiatives. Bringing together analytics from queer phenomenology, art theory, and queer affect theory, I root these art interventions in critical theories of the production of space.