Distance is Not Material — Projection

December 2023

Inspired by materials in the David Grieger Collection at the Leather Archives & Museum, Distance is Not Material is a manifestation of queer fantasy, desire, and loss reimagined by artists Joshua Rains and Dan Foley as an altar for sexual worship and the commemoration of queer survival.


During the 1990s, Houston area artist, erotic illustrator, and drag performer David Grieger (1955-1994) withdrew into seclusion after testing positive for HIV. Over the next few years David produced, and exchanged, hundreds of hand-written and typed letters, erotic drawings, and photographs with men who responded to classified ads he placed in convenience store muscle-magazines.

Between June 12, 1992 and December 1993, David exchanged letters with a bodybuilder he dubbed “Lord Richard.” Like all of David’s men, they never met; their relationship built on letters that mixed paragraphs of intense muscle worship with sentences on the minutiae of their everyday lives. With an installation featuring graphite drawings by Joshua Rains, projection work by Dan Foley, and letters from the collection, Distance is Not Material breathes life into a connection that never left the page.


Sunday, December 10th, 12-6pm
2pm Opening Reception
Leather Archives & Museum
6418 N Greenview Ave,
Chicago, IL 60626