HIDE/SEEK, the controversial exhibition that was first featured at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, is now on view at The Brooklyn Museum. Exploring issues of gender, sexual identity, concealment, and transgression in modern America, it simultaneously presents both a eulogy for the irreversible past and a radiant hope for the present and future. The works subtly meditate on universal themes of love, companionship, interaction, conversation, transience, transformation, dissolution, loss, and death.
The collection of work reaches back to the late 1800s, expressing tenderness toward lovers codified in paintings, songs, and photographs. There are several highly-political works that defied the antagonism from conservative groups towards the LGBT communities, especially through the AIDS crisis during the 1980s and ’90s. By making use of disguises, symbolism, institutional critique, and abstraction, the artists create an ulterior narrative, many times foreign to the common spectator, allowing for the infiltration of many of these works in the artistic canon of the times.
– M. Silva