These are the best Summer LGBTIQ Exhibitions
In numerous museums and galleries in Berlin you are able to experience classical and contemporary art - in many cases those with a queer focus. Cultural journalist Julian Beyer has compiled ten great exhibitions that will inspire you in the summer of 2022.
caner teker and Liz Rosenfeld: Resonant Bodies
Berlin is very proud of its bear, which has been immortalised in the city's coat of arms and in innumerable graffiti all over the city. From 1939 to 2015, brown bears were housed in a centrally located bear pen, almost directly on the river Spree. However, because criticism of the animals’ living conditions in the comparatively small enclosure mounted over time, it was closed after the death of its last inhabitant and it reopened as an exhibition and cultural site. The story of the bear sanctuary has inspired the choreographer* caner teker and the artist Liz Rosenfeld to co-create an exhibition on the subject. In the exhibition 'Resonant Bodies', they have created sculptures and paintings that address bodily desire, both in public space and in private.
Azbuka Strikes Back
In its exhibitions, books, and lecture-performances, the collective 'Slavs and Tatars' focuses on an area that uses its starting place at the former Berlin Wall and extends to the Great Wall of China, namely encompassing Eurasia. One of the places where 'Slavs and Tatars' exhibits is in the 'Pickle Bar', a Slavic aperitivo bar with project space in Berlin-Moabit. For the lecture, workshops, and performance series, 'Azbuka Strikes Back', the artists examine children's books from the former socialist nations of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The artists, researchers, and poets in the collective have a lot to critique, for example, the one-sided and prejudiced representation of ethnic groups, sexual orientation, and gender. They also closely and thoroughly analyse how children's books are used to influence the youth. You can book tickets for the various events on Eventbrite.
Azbuka Strikes Back
At Pickle Bar, Stephanstraße 11, 10559 Berlin-Moabit
Website of Slavs and Tatars
Website of Pickle Bars Eventbrite
Website of Azbuka Strikes Back and Pickle Bar
In Exile. Queerweek22
Queerness in exile and exile in queerness are broadly the inspiration behind 'Queerweek22', entitled 'In Exile' and which will take place in 'Studio Я' at the Maxim Gorki Theatre for a few days at the beginning of September. Visitors will be able to experience readings, drag shows, panel discussions, film screenings, and performances by various queer artists. Themes of the multi-day event, curated by Yunus Ersoy, include not only self- and 'other'-identification, (post-)migrant perspectives, home, but also those of flirting, sexuality, and love.
In Exile. Queerweek22
From 01. until 04. and 09. until 11.09.2022
At Studio Я at Maxim Gorki Theater, Hinter dem Gießhaus 2, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Website of Studio Я im Maxim Gorki Theater
Website of In Exile. Queerweek22
New Queer Photography
In 2020, 'Vogue Italia', among others, reported on the coffee-table publication 'New Queer Photography' by Benjamin Wolbergs. Over a period of four years, Wolbergs travelled around the world and made contact with queer photographers who depict the lives of the LGBTQIA* community. The focus is particularly on countries where queerness is not as accepted as it is in this country. At 'f³ - freiraum für fotografie', these series of images and works can finally be seen in Berlin. The exhibition was curated by Wolbergs himself and by Katharina Mouratadi. 'New Queer Photography' is dedicated to all queer people who suffer because of their sexuality, those who fight for it, or those who simply celebrate their way of life.
Tuntenhaus Forellenhof 1990
On 1 May 1990, queers from the Kreuzberg district of West Berlin occupied a house at Mainzer Straße 4 in the city's former East. In the 'Tuntenhaus Forellenhof', an international queer commune emerged over the summer, celebrating with big parties, and politically opposing Patriarchy. The members had to repeatedly fend off attacks by Nazis. In November 1990, after a three-day street fight with the police, the 'Forellenhof' queer house was dismantled and its inhabitants evicted. The history of this experiment has been recreated in the 'Schwule (Gay) Museum'. At the centre of the exhibition is a replica of the dining room from the 'Tuntenhaus' - complete with the tobacco for hand-rolled cigarettes that was used at the time, from both West and East German brands.
Tuntenhaus Forellenhof 1990: Der kurze Sommer des schwulen Kommunismus
At Schwules Museum, Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
Website of Schwulen Museum
Website of Tuntenhaus Forellenhof 1990: Der kurze Sommer des schwulen Kommunismus
What exactly is 'tolerance'? For his poster campaign, 'The Tolerance Project', Graphic Designer Mirko Ilić has been travelling the world since 2017. On this journey, he collected the works of graphic designers all of whom had been assigned the same brief by him, namely, to create a poster depicting the word 'tolerance'. The graphic artists’ interpretations were left entirely up to them. In Berlin, the poster show of 63 designers from 36 countries is now being exhibited in the 'Kunstbibliothek' (Art Library) in a combination of museum curated format and performance spaces. Just like the graphic artists, the visitors are also encouraged to engage with the theme and meaning of ‘tolerance’.
Werbepause – The Art of Subvertising
In the art of 'subvertising', the advertising images of well-known brands and campaigns are parodied, caricatured, and performed. This theme is usually presented in the context of a background of political or capitalism-critical expressions of opinion. The question posed is whether there is ultimately any truth to be found in the parody of an advertising campaign. The exhibition 'Werbepause - The Art of Subvertising' in the 'Kunstraum Kreuzberg' presents the subvertising works of various artists during the summer. Guests can also engage with this exciting and often witty topic in workshops and performances.
Werbepause – The Art of Subvertising
At Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
U Kottbusser Tor
Website of Werbepause – The Art of Subvertising
Website of Kunstraum Kreuzberg
No Master Territories
"How have artists and filmmakers approached the moving image as an inspiration for feminist imagination?" This is the question posed by Director Hila Peleg and Erika Bolsom, who teaches in the Department of Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King's College London. They have co-curated the exhibition 'No Master Territories - Feminist World-Making and the Moving Image' at the 'Haus der Kulturen der Welt' (HKW). In an attempt to answer the initial question, the curators have collected feminist art and documentary films from the period between 1970 and 1990. On the one hand, the show is intended to pay tribute to the pioneering works they have selected, but simultaneously to interrogate the current themes of Feminism through the lens of history. In addition to the exhibition, 'No Master Territories', a cinema programme with live discussions, an online cinema programme, and a podcast have been included. Do have a listen!
No Master Territories – Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image
At HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten
Website of HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Website of Ausstellung No Master Territories - Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image
Bitte lachen / Please cry
Framed by quotes from George Orwell, James Baldwin and Walter Benjamin, the large-scale installation, 'Bitte Lachen / Please Cry’, by US artist Barbara Kruger, invites visitors to reflect on and discuss the theme of the exhibition. The Neue Nationalgalerie’s exhibition space echoes the voices of writers and philosophers. Orwell dealt with the violence of totalitarian states, Baldwin was engaged with the mechanisms of social discrimination, and Benjamin with the dangers of a one-sided historiography. These topics were as pertinent during the lifetimes of these three men as they are, regrettably, to this day.
Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry
At Neue Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
S+U Potsdamer Platz
Website of Neuen Nationalgalerie
Website of Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry
Großstadt Neukölln – 1920 bis 2020
For years, a visit to Neukölln has been a must on many queer travellers’ bucket list visits to Berlin. In 2021, TimeOut magazine voted the Berlin district the 11th coolest neighbourhood in the world. This is a fairly recent development, however, as Neukölln was previously considered a remote and shabby district of the city. The exhibition 'Großstadt Neukölln - 1920 bis 2020' in the 'Museum Neukölln' shows how Neukölln has developed over time. The journey through this era begins with the incorporation of today's district as part of Greater Berlin. Visitors won't be bored by a dull and dreary history lesson. Instead, they are able to solve, for example, interactive puzzles. In addition, visitors can explore a photo series by Gundula Friese depicting today's Neukölln and Leon Kopplow portrays passengers on the U8 underground line, which traverses the district.
And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!
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You can find a complete overview of all events for every single da on the event pages of SIEGESSÄULE, Berlin's famous queer city magazine.
Words: Julian Beyer