Matt Lambert | Museum of Arts and Design Acquisition


Breathe: Just Believe

The invitation by Kiff Slemons for Tag, You’re It! gave the perfect reason to produce this necklace. The piece consists of blank tags and 24 amyl nitrate bottles. Amyl nitrate commonly referred to as poppers is a substance associated with pleasure seeking from dance floors to clubs to bedrooms to cruising. Cruising as method is currently being developed in my PhD.
Referencing a major influence early in my career Jan Yager and her street series, bottles were collected through friends and floors of dance and sex clubs. The current title references not only the consumption of the substance which is done through inhalation but also the song Breathe by Télépopmusik.

I brought you something close to me
Left for something you see though you’re here
You haunt my dreams
There’s nothing to do but believe
Just believe…
I’m used to it by now
Another day, just believe
Just breathe

Blank tags tempt to be labeled reflecting the political pressure to label gender and sexuality while reflecting the value of opacity to reference French Martinique philosopher Édouard Glissant’s essay For Opacity. To avoid being tagged, to avoid being “it”. The acceptance of anonymity in these places offers the possibility to confront another bod(y/ies) in space to seek temporal pleasure and escape. Given the current politicization of gender and sexual
expression in the U.S. what are marginalized bodies, what is my body as a queer, non-binary trans body to do? At points all we can do is remember to just breathe…..when we can.

-Matt Lambert