an imaginary their_story of nature peoples, 1535-2017
Book launch 22.11.2018 19:00
WITH Ashkan Sepahvand
FRee Entry Suggested donation 5 EUR
SAVVY Contemporary and Schwules Museum cordially invite to the launch of the catalogue for last year’s exhibition Odarodle - an imaginary their_story of nature peoples, 1535-2017. The evening will include a discussion with Ashkan Sepahvand, editor of the publication and curator of the exhibition, together with participating artists, reflecting on the project's positions, methods, and performative proposals.
The artistic research exhibition Odarodle - an imaginary their_story of nature peoples, 1535-2017 took place at the Schwules Museum* in Berlin from 21.07.–16.10.2017. The project presented the work of 16 contemporary artists, with 10 newly commissioned pieces, all responding to the Museum’s history and archive as both research material and aesthetic medium. The 1984 exhibition Eldorado: Homosexuelle Frauen und Männer in Berlin 1850-1950 - Geschichte, Alltag, und Kultur, shown at the Berlin Museum and considered by the Schwules Museum* as its institutional origin, served as the primary point of departure.
This first attempt to convey a comprehensive history of homosexuality in Germany made use of atmospheric dioramas depicting typical scenes and habitats of gay and lesbian life. Turning Eldorado consciously backwards, Odarodle drew associations between the Museum’s representation of homosexualities and the ethnological display formats developed over the course of European colonialism. The interplay of artistic installations, archival materials, and architectural staging complicated and obscured notions of self-representation, both as historical problem and future possibility.
The project's publication, citing the genre of Sittengeschichte – an illustrated, encyclopedic history of (im)morality – brings together the extensive research material that went into the development of Odarodle's various arguments. Work-in-progress documentation from each participating artistic position, interwoven within an annotated and redacted reader of archival texts and images, chart out the complex relations between the histories of sexuality, the body, race, and what constitutes "the natural" within colonial Modernity. This queer collage of knowledge-forms normally kept separate – from ecological imaginaries of the indigenous to the emergence of "woman" as a category of Other – challenges the canon of "homosexual history", offering points of contradiction and critique for re-imagining today's struggles around difference.
The book will be available and for sale during the event:
Odarodle – An imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017
Ashkan Sepahvand (ed).
190 pp, 24 EUR