This beautiful piece, designed by Tina Gverović and constructed at The Corner at Whitman-Walker, is a multi-colored vortex with an approximate area of 78 square meters, or 844 square feet. It takes up a huge portion of the floor at The Corner in LIZ. For me, the sculpture has a kind of holy geometry. In its sheer mass, the piece centers itself. I feel a sense of unitary completeness. Across the circular landscape each person sees a different horizon from their view, inviting difference and perspective into the conversation.
The large sculpture of swirling fabric joins in the tradition of
elaborating on Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag design. Gilbert’s original, first raised in 1978 at Pride in San Francisco, contained 8 colors, (Hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet) celebrating the diversity of the LGBT community. From its inception the flag has undergone revisions and reinterpretations.
Early on, a commercial version lost a color to the requirements of mass production, and a political version went from 7 to 6 to allow the flag to fly in two, equal halves of 3 colors each. The most common colors, (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet) are now seen throughout the world on clothes, pins, and even food.
Tina Gverovic’s contribution to the history of the rainbow pride design contains 11 different colors. It is warm and soft on the eyes; slightly muted compared to the high voltage tones which dominate the world of rainbow pride flags.
In her sculpture, Tina has incorporated the recent widespread addition of 5 colors; Black, brown, and light pink, white, and light blue. The additions recognize Black and brown people of color and transgender people in the queer community. The new colors recognize a new focus on the intersectional nature of the queer rights movement.
The overlapping fabric panels remind me of the AIDS Quilt, and the soft folds and suggestive galley placement make me feel like it is a place to stop and sit and remember. The AIDS Quilt was last publicly displayed in 1996 on the National Mall in Washington. Now at 48,000 panels it is a powerful testament to the lives that were lost to the crisis and provides a visceral reminder of their contribution.
Tina’s welcoming whirlpool contains 70 panels. The panels are carefully folded by gentle curves into a circle. For me, in the cloth’s folds and eddies, and overlapping, colored panels, the design points to history of the struggle for liberation. The 11 alternating colors suggest the interwoven flow of LGB liberation and trans liberation and Black liberation. The piece is constructed from the inside out, and so, like the struggle for liberation, it is possible to imagine that you can keep adding to it.