fORUM: Ancestral Inheritance, Queer Unbecoming

25 January 2017 7pm - 9pm

Mercer Union is delighted to announce that Fan Wu will be the next guest in our fORUM critical conversation series. Please join us on Wednesday 25 January at 7PM. Doors will open at 6:30.

“I want us to have a conversation around a spectrum of self-conception that runs across two poles: becoming on one end, and identity on the other.

Yet to begin to speak with an “I” is already a betrayal of queerness, which is the promise of flow and slippage from scene to scene, never being able to be pinned down, unbecoming and becoming seesawing in erratic ecstasy. Queerness rewrites the “I” into the sheer potential of the fragment & the momentary.

Queerness is all well and good, as a sticky, dreamy ideal. But then one night, roaming the same sleaze-spilt bathhouses that gives me so much nervous pleasure, who sleeps with you in the pitch-darkness but your own father? Ancestral identity takes me from the playful darkness and affixes me to communist China, to the sacrifice of my parents’ childhoods to Maoist ideology. I am haunted by a passed-down phantom pain that dispossesses me of my queer fluidity.

Perhaps inevitably, this event comes across as a manic bouncing back-and-forth. So I’ll summon the guidance of a few intimates: Shary Boyle, Tsai Ming-Liang, Lars von Trier. But I hope you’ll join us, bring your own stories of that precipitous border between identity and becoming—and together we’ll try to weave a queer scene.”

– Fan Wu


Fan Wu is a devoted dilettante and a student of Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. He is liable to have a crush on at least one person in any given room, and his first chapbook of translations, Hoarfrost & Solace, was published in July 2016. He runs a series of close workshops on theory and poetics through various art galleries in Toronto.

This event is presented as part of Mercer Union’s ongoing fORUM critical conversation series, including talks, lectures, interviews, screenings and performances at Mercer Union. Free as always.