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Re—building the future

“Queerness is not here yet” writes Joe Esteban Munoz in Cruising Utopia, “Queerness is an ideality.” According to the theorist, the aesthetic provides a blueprint of the worlds proposed and promised by queerness. For many young people who stumbled across Wolfgang Tillmans’ photography in magazines, books or galleries, it offered just that, a portal into another world. Here he speaks to Róisín McVeigh.

Many will know the Turner prize winning artist for his photographs of hedonistic clubbers in the late 1980’s and ‘90s. In 1988, when Tillmans first began going out in Hamburg, raving and taking ecstasy, he recognised that something new was happening and felt compelled to communicate it. These peaceful, fun-loving environments offered a glimpse of a possible society: one that was communal, sexually liberated and judgement free, a utopian ideal of togetherness. “There was a huge shift through acid-house in the late ‘80s when style and class distinctions were ironed out by smiley culture and just a t-shirt and jeans”, Tillmans says. “I found that so liberating at the time. This egalitarian utopia that existed, and hopefully still exists, in a club.”

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About GCN

In this super-hot Sex Issue, we are celebrating sex positivity and body positivity, all of the good stuff, basically. In a host of incredible interviews and opinion pieces, the community speaks about the issues that matter to them. The fabulous Evvol talk about showcasing lesbian eroticism in their work, while a special report details the afterparty scene for gay men. We speak to Mary Shannon, the custodian of the Irish Names Quilt, while iconic photographer Wolfgang Tillmans talks about his latest exhibition. In recognition of the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, we highlight the activists and volunteers of ACT UP and KnowNow and look at key moments in Ireland's battle against the virus. We also speak to people from across the spectrum of varying relationships about why theirs works for them. We think you'll enjoy this one!