if you must

Quito Ziegler is a Brooklyn-based artist and a founding member of the WRRQ Collective who likes to play with gender, glitter, community organizing, radical imagination, afghan blankets, and their old Nikon camera.  Lately they are particularly fond of collective movie-making, organizing an annual intergenerational retreat for queer artists who are surviving or have survived transience, and dreaming up the transfeminist world of the future. 

They have organized a wide range of collaborative interdisciplinary projects in New York City’s queer+trans communities including the Queer Planet contingency of the People’s Climate March and the Wrrqshop – a weekly queer art and community-building salon. They have hosted an intergenerational storytelling hour about the AIDS crisis, produced a series of commissions for a magical garden on the Lower East Side, and installed an art and performance lab in a downtown gallery in conjunction with the MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival at the height of the Occupy movement.  In 2014 they organized a psychic chamber underground as part of the Whitney Biennial.  This one time they brought the Forest of the Future to life in a Brooklyn warehouse, along with many friends.

Their photographs from Brooklyn’s radical queer/transgender community were recently featured on the New York Times Lens blog.  They produced four cycles of the Moving Walls photography exhibition at the Open Society Foundations, where they also curated a permanent collection of human rights photography.  They have curated a web gallery on lost transgender history for Visual AIDS, and are currently assisting with the upcoming exhibition, Perpetual Revolution, at the International Center of Photography.

Quito has worked at the Open Society Foundations on and off since 2001, where they used to coordinate global projects that explore the intersection of photography and human rights. They are a co-founder of the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, a state-wide immigrant rights coalition which they co-directed from 2003-2006 while producing large-scale public photography projects on immigration issues.  They are a former board co-chair of NYC’s Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and a current board member of the Third Wave Fund.

They are the proud parent of a beloved community-sustained van called the Pony, who sometimes requires moonlight beach parties to sustain her unfortunate habit of breaking down constantly.  In 2008 they received an MFA from the International Center of Photography, where they have since served as faculty.  They have been a featured speaker at the Harvard Divinity School and the camera club of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and many other random and interesting places.

Quito is currently transient, taking time away from Brooklyn to connect with nature and queer communities outside of NYC while pondering the future of global intersectional movement-building.  In 2012 they took a similar sojourn, dividing their time between Vermont, Berlin and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.  It resulted in the Forest of the Future.  They still feel more at home in the woods than the city.

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