Becks Gio Joe Player

Becks Gio Joe Player - BA (Hons) Fine Art and Curating

Becks Gio Joe has an interdisciplinary practice as an artist and curator. Both their artistic and curatorial practices are situated within a queer contemporary context, including outputs in performance-led installation, paint, text, textiles, video and exhibition making.

Gio Joe has fallen in love with various cultural figures, first being Elvis Presley around age five. They have since queered his iconic image through drag. Bex the King as Elvis allows them to explore their own masculinity in these performances. Increasingly, their drag acts have moved away from impersonation and towards heightened performances of Gio Joe’s own queer identity.

Engaging with cultural ancestors, Gio Joe’s practice is grounded in a tradition of resistance and struggle. They spend time with queer, artist, and activist historic figures, most significantly Claude Cahun. They performed wearing their most recent outcome, Battle Jacket for Claude (2024), at the People’s History Museum. Other outcomes include My Dearest Claude, a love letter for Claude Cahun (2021). This piece was shown at HOME’s 2024 Manchester Open. Alongside other artists, Gio Joe removed their work in response to HOME cancelling Voices of Resilience, a celebration of Gazan writing, resulting in the event being reinstated. Such actions situate a practice that is interested in history within the present cultural and socio-political moment.

In this final year, Gio Joe has been a key member of the CORE706 curatorial team, a student-run collective and gallery based in MSoA. For Gio Joe, the gallery is one site where artwork can take place. The gallery is a tool for critically reflecting on sub-cultural practices and ensuring their place in the archive. Gio Joe regards their cultural practices as an act of care for themself and their community, as well as a vehicle for socio-political change. This position will continue to drive their work as an artist-curator.