A Dystopian Utopia: Queerness, Affect and the Political in Roberto Jacoby’s Darkroom (2002)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this article I argue for the productivity of a thus far unexplored queer reading of Roberto Jacoby’s visual installation/video/performance Darkroom (2002). Produced in the context of the 2001 Argentine social and economic crisis, I read Darkroom’s reliance on anti-normative affective and sensible configurations as part of this period’s intense re-imagining of resistant politics. At a time of crisis that fuelled innovative strategies of popular organisation, political action, and community formation, Darkroom resorts to the affects and imaginaries of queer sexualities to investigate the formation of alternative collectivities. Through its recreation of a space for public sex, the work simultaneously problematises queer utopian imaginaries, mobilising dystopia as a strategy for thinking through the current status of transformational politics. I propose that, accounting for both the utopian-laden social gestures towards new modes of collectivity which characterised the post/crisis period in Argentina and the systemic social, economic, and material precarities which, to this day, continue to haunt the nation, Jacoby’s Darkroom revisits and works through imaginaries of structural change by resorting to a queer dys/utopia. The piece thus becomes fundamental to shed light on the complex relation between affect, politics, and visual arts in contemporary Latin American culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-320
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Argentina
  • Visual culture
  • affect studies
  • queer studies
  • social crisis


Dive into the research topics of 'A Dystopian Utopia: Queerness, Affect and the Political in Roberto Jacoby’s Darkroom (2002)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this