Hundreds of years of ridicule, persecution, erasure, misunderstanding, and institutionalization could put anyone in a bad mood. Killjoy invites you into her kastle for a queer exorcism of the past.
Lesbian feminist histories can have a haunting effect on the present. This book explores the making and experience of Killjoy’s Kastle, an immersive walk-through installation and performance artwork (by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue). Inspired by Evangelical Christian hell houses of the past, the exhibition has been staged in three cities so far – Toronto, London, and Los Angeles – engaging thousands in interactive encounters with the spirits that haunt feminist and queer history. Where traditional hell houses set out to scare and convert, Killjoy’s Kastle cheekily aims to provoke and pervert. Inside Killjoy’s Kastle extends and reflects on the theoretical and political legacies of the installation in chapters by queer and feminist scholars and in vignettes by participating artists. The many colourful photos in the book also bring the kastle to life, offering an important visual context.
Allyson Mitchell is an associate professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at York University, Toronto. Cait McKinney is an assistant professor of communication studies at California State University, Northridge.