Underneath the 1980s nostalgia of Netflix’s drama Stranger Things, the sleepy Midwestern town of Hawkins, Indiana becomes a porous portal into an alternate dimension that the kids on the show call “The Upside Down.”
“It’s almost embarrassing to acknowledge how good things are…There’s something abnormal about it,” reflects Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas in an interview with FADER. With the release of his new album this week No Shape, a transcendent ode to romanticism, love and domesticity as redemption, Perfume Genius raises the question: What does utopia sound like?
The ladies of Sister Sledge knew what they were talking about when they said there was no turning back in their song “Lost In Music.” While the singers meant giving themselves over to the rhythm of disco at the height of its dazzling era, there is, indeed, no turning back now either.
Depression, despair, despondency, longing, melancholia and heartbreak are unlikely emotions to trumpet at a time when anger and righteous indignation seem like the only affects we’re allowed to access for mass resistance and protest.
In José Esteban Muñoz’s now probably over-quoted introduction to Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, Muñoz describes, “Both the ornamental and the quotidian can contain a map of the utopia that is queerness” (1). Similar to Muñoz’s assertion, artist Anna Campbell works almost exclusively with “the ornamental and the quotidian” as a site for …