“We could be heroes, just for one day. We could be us, just for one day.”
- David Bowie
LGBTQ+ communities and community-based archives have long searched for ‘gay heroes’ to showcase both queer existence and accomplishment across time and space. In “We Could be Heroes (Just for One Day),” Toronto photographer Tania Anderson turns this traditional search for heroes on its head. Through a series of fourteen portraits, she highlights diverse Toronto-based artists and activists who are rarely celebrated for their contributions to queer communities. Tania says of the exhibit that she wishes to honour queer activists who have done the hard work and are not always visible or well-recognized. Not typical documentary portraits, the lush and aesthetic images are intimate and vulnerable, revealing Tania's ongoing connections and relationships with the people she photographs. In the exhibit, the photographs are accompanied by four audio visual pieces that speak in detail to these connections and relationships, as well as to the image making process.
Far from attempting to create a definitive collection of images of heroes for the Toronto queer community, Tania recognizes that the concept of who gets to be a ‘hero’ at any given time is constantly changing. This body of work recognizes the shifting and contingent concepts of heroism that adapt to the social, political, and representational needs of the moment in ever-evolving queer communities and social movements.