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Andrew Zealley


Andrew Zealley is a Toronto-based artist whose practice has been situated at the shifting nexus of HIV/AIDS, queer identity, and the body since 1990. Organized around sound and listening practices, Zealley’s creative work extends from audio and music methods to inform mixed disciplines and media — including video, photography, bookmaking, performance, installation, curating, archiving, pedagogy, AIDS activism, public sex practice(s), and relational healing(s). In the 1980s, Zealley was active in a number of successful popular music groups – including Perfect World and the queer-identified TBA. In 1990 he began a 4-year collaboration with visual artist Robert Flack. His audio installation (for Flack's Empowerment), Nature: This Is A Recording, is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Zealley has recordings published by a roster of international labels including Art Metropole, EN/OF, Fine & Dandy, How To Explain Silence To A Dead Hare, Public Record/Ultra-red, and Tourette Records.

In 1995, Zealley produced the music for UN©UT, the first of four feature film scores for director/activist John Greyson and has also scored numerous Greyson video works. In 2001, he co-produced (as one half of Greek Buck) the theme music for the American television series, Queer As Folk. He tested HIV positive that same year.

Since 2003, Zealley has collaborated, as sound artist, with the likes of Stephen Andrews, Robert Bolton (Arowbe), Wendy Coburn, Dara Gellman, Luis Jacob, Joseph Medaglia, Chrysanne Stathacos, Scott Treleaven, and Ultra-red. In 2005 he curated Halos: David Buchan and Robert Flack (Art Metropole), a show about two important Canadian HIV+ artists and their work. The exhibition included Zealley’s sound installation Empathetic Ear. His work has been exhibited in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montréal, New York City, Los Angeles, and Kleve. His 2013 solo exhibition, Disco Hospital: Safe and Sound, interrogated the intersection of sound and listening, non-Western healing practices, neo-shamanisms, and queer things. Evolving out of Disco Hospital, the solo exhibition, Patient Files, featured new work on themes of thaumaturgy and public sex, and included a mobile clinic (Greenbelt Gallery, Toronto, January 2014).

Zealley holds an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from OCAD University. He is currently working on a Ph.D. through the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University; research project: Risky Beeswax: Artistic Responses to the Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS. Zealley lives in Toronto with his feline companion, Roland. Photo portrait of Andrew Zealley by Roberto Bonifacio.

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