A Filipinx American genderqueer queer based in Chicago, Jan Christian Bernabe (“he, him, his”) is the Chief Creative & Operations Director and Founder of FLXST Contemporary, a contemporary art space and incubator in the South Loop for emerging and mid-career artists. He is also an educator and scholar, independent curator, and art & culture critic/writer. He has taught courses in art history and visual culture studies, race and representation, and gender and queer studies (among other topics) at the University of Michigan, Cornish College of the Arts, and Whitman College. With a Ph.D. in the Program in American Culture from the University of Michigan, he has written for postions: asia critique, Wasafiri Magazine, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, the Filipino American Artist Directory and other academic and non-academic outlets. With the artist-academic Laura Kina, he co-edited Queering Contemporary Asian American Art published by the University of Washington Press (2017) and is at work on the second volume of the project. As a scholar and academic, he specializes in the history of visual culture studies in the United States as seen through the lens of visual technologies, like print, photography, film, and most recently, the digital media and the Internet. He is also invested in surfacing underrepresented visual makers, whether artists, photographer, or filmmakers, in his research, writing, and curating. As a life-long learner and knowledge maker, he is interested in the intersections of Filipinx diasporic art, queer cultural practices, and civic engagement & social justice. When not running FLXST Contemporary or researching and writing about art and photography, Jan serves as a member of the Community Advisory Group for Equality Illinois, a Core Leader for AFIRE Chicago, and a Critique Group Instructor for Latitude Chicago. He also supports other local community social justice and arts organizations in Chicago. He is a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ immigrant rights, racial and economic social justice, and transgender affirming policies for Illinois and across the US.
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art, University of Washington Press (2017) co-edited with Laura Kina
“Sea, Land, and Air, and the Center for Art and Thought,” co-authored with Clare Counihan and Sarita See in Verge: Studies in Global Asias (2017): 26-34.
“Queer Reconfigurations: Bontoc Eulogy and Marlon Fuentes’s Archive Imperative” in positions: asia critique, Volume 24 (2016): 727-759
“Stephanie Syjuco ‘Blows Up’ the Black Market Series,” Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing, Volume 28, Issue 3 (August 2013): 24-33
“Filipino Diaspora Queer Killjoy: Recuperating Failure in Jeffrey Augustine Songco’s Guilty Party and BOMH Series in Queering Contemporary Asian American Art, eds. Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe, University of Washington Press (2017)
“Queer Camouflage as Survival, Presence, and Expressive Capital in the Postcolonial Artwork of Kiam Marcelo Junio” in The Postcolonial World, eds. Joytsna Singh and David Kim, Routledge Press (2016): 134-149.
Book Review: “Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries,” eds. Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo, And Fritz Pino.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas
Book Review: “Photography, Film, and the African American Experience: Making a Promised Land: Harlem in 20th-Century Photography and Film by Paula J. Massood; Bearing Witness from Another Place: James Baldwin in Turkey, with the foreword by Charles Johnson; One Shot: A Selection of Photographs by Reuben V. Burrell edited by Vanessa Thaxton-Ward (2013).” International Review of African American Art Plus.
Book Review: “In the Eyes of the Muses: Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collections (2012).” International Review of African American Art Plus
“Kelvin Burzon Queers the Midwest, Catholicism, and Jose Rizal” in Filipino American Artist Directory (St. Louis, 2017): np.
Eds. Jan Christian Bernabe, et al., Migrant Musicians: Filipino Entertainers and the Work of Making Music (Durham, NC: Horse & Buggy Press/CA+T, 2013)
“Techniques: Contemporary Asian American Time-Based Art - Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Kat Larson, and Gina Osterloh,” in Techniques exhibition publication (Walla Walla: Whitman College—Sheehan Gallery, 2011)
“Archival Heaves: Im/mobilizing Icons and Bodies in the Paintings of John Yoyogi Fortes,” in Out of the Archives: Process and Progress. Eds., Angel Shaw and Sarita See. (New York: Asian American Arts Centre, 2009): 24-37