The Flying Broomstick
Animated GIF,  00:24" loop
2018
"In this looping GIF, Jamil Hellu poses in front of the camera with artist and drag performer Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The two figures straddle a broomstick, a playful allusion to the possibility of erotic journey. The broomstick is also a reference to domesticity and witchery, reclaiming the negative historical association between these spheres and the feminine, here queered.

Hellu’s work deals with the theme of identities, troubling Western cultural expectations of what gendered and raced bodies in relationship should look like. In this piece, the artist builds on his explorations of the body as a site to celebrate queer subjectivity, reimagine the gendered meaning of home and relationship, and engage in community building.

The Flying Broomstick
combines elements of humor and performance to manifest the pleasure – even magic – of defiant queer embodiment."
Cecelia Bishop