Be Oakley (B. 1991 Clearwater, FL) is a writer, facilitator, and publisher based in Queens, NY. They received their MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. Oakley is currently a Part-Time Lecturer in print and paper at SMFA at Tufts.
In 2015 they started GenderFail, a publishing, programming, and archiving platform run solely by Be Oakley. GenderFail is not non-for-profit but profit-for-survival or profit-to-continue-our-work-without-other-means-of-capital and most importantly to make money for others I publish, to create profit-for-labor. With GenderFail, publishing is personal, it’s a means of my livelihood and a tool for the dissemination of imperfect, but powerful ideas. For GenderFail, we seek to publish works that expand queer subjectivity by looking at queerness as an identity that challenges capitalist, racist, ableist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-environmental ideologies.
With GenderFail they have published works by American artists, Sable Elyse Smith, Lex Brown, Aitch Alberto, Paul Soulellis, Johanna Hedva, Nicole Killian, Demian Dinéyazhi, Pallavi Sen, Abigail Lucien, and many others. GenderFail publications can be found in the library and special collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Tate Modern, The Brooklyn Museum Library and over 50 others.
They have been a part of projects, programming and exhibitions including The Center for Book Arts (Imperfect Archiving, Archiving as Practice 2021), Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (Excess and Refusal 2021), Cleveland Institute of Art Reinberger Gallery (Title TBD 2020), The Studio Museum in Harlem (Radical Reading Room, 2019), MoMA PS1 (Past and Future Fictions, 2018), The International Center of Photography (Queering the Collection, 2018), among many others. Their work has been featured in Italian Vogue, The Baffler, Eye on Design, Art In America, Hyperallergic, among many others.
Conversations in Contemporary Art is a free event series sponsored by Concordia University's Studio Arts MFA Program. The series provides a unique opportunity to hear artists, designers, critics, writers, educators, and curators share their practice(s) and perspectives. All events are held in English. Seating is first-come-first-served and everyone is welcome.