July 18, 2017 - Schwules Museum* Berlin - Odarodle: an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017
July 18, 2017

Schwules Museum* Berlin

© Michael Oswell 2017.

Odarodle: an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017
July 21–October 16, 2017

Pre-opening Manifestation Parade: July 20, 4:30–5:30pm, gathering in front of the "Speisekammer im Eldorado" supermarket, Motzstrasse 24 / corner Kalckreuthstrasse
Opening: July 20, 6–11pm

Schwules Museum* Berlin
Lützowstraße 73
10785 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 2–6pm,
Thursday 2–8pm,
Saturday 2–7pm

T +49 30 69599050
kontakt@schwulesmuseum.de

www.schwulesmuseum.de
Facebook / Twitter

Odarodle: an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017
July 21–October 16, 2017

Pre-opening Manifestation Parade: July 20, 4:30–5:30pm, gathering in front of the "Speisekammer im Eldorado" supermarket, Motzstrasse 24 / corner Kalckreuthstrasse
Opening: July 20, 6–11pm

Schwules Museum* Berlin
Lützowstraße 73
10785 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 2–6pm,
Thursday 2–8pm,
Saturday 2–7pm

T +49 30 69599050
kontakt@schwulesmuseum.de

www.schwulesmuseum.de
Facebook / Twitter

The artistic research exhibition Odarodle: an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017 casts, for the first time, a postcolonial perspective on the collection and history of the Schwules Museum*. The exhibition proposes a thought-exercise: that there are problematic associations between the museum representation of homosexualities and the ethnological display formats developed over the course of European colonialism. Odarodle presents the work of 16 artists, mostly Berlin-based, including ten newly commissioned pieces. These contemporary positions respond to the Museum, its archive, and its practices as both research material and aesthetic medium.

The project’s primary point of departure is the seminal exhibition Eldorado: Homosexuelle Frauen und Männer in Berlin 1850–1950—Geschichte, Alltag, und Kultur, which opened in 1984 at the Berlin Museum in West Berlin and is considered by the Schwules Museum* as its institutional origin. The 1984 exhibition’s title referred to the “original” Eldorado cabaret, which was in operation from 1926 to 1933 with two locations in Berlin-Schöneberg. Golden '20s Berlin was full of bars and clubs named after faraway and exotic places. In a befitting coincidence, Eldorado evoked the eponymous Lost City of Gold, one of the many fantasies that fueled 16th century Europe's imperial race for the accumulation of wealth, power, and territory in the so-called New World.

Odarodle specifically turns “Eldorado” backwards. As a site of multiple origins, it is a threefold reference: an historical exhibition, a legendary night club, and a colonial myth. What Eldorado ignored, Odarodle picks up on—that the “history of (homo)sexuality” is deeply entangled with concepts of “natural history.” Though the commitment of the Schwules Museum* to enable LGBTIQ cultural visibility bespeaks a greater political agenda of liberation, the contemporary relevance of such a (self-)representational undertaking requires revision and reflection. A more expansive, less obvious scale of critical engagement, as proposed by Odarodle, considers the deeper operations within Modernity that have attempted to exhibit forms of life, their bodies, and their habitats. This is where the desire to show the manners and mores of a kind of “people” and their “nature” confronts the postcolonial challenges of the ethnographic museum: a site that has historically sought to visualize the existence of the “Other” and, in doing so, maintains the “Other” as a normative construction.

Odarodle elaborates on the anachronisms of the three Eldorados, spatially embedding research-based artworks and archival materials into a series of theatrical installations. Rather than taking a didactic approach to narrating cultural histories, this exhibition deploys artistic research as a sensualized form of thinking, one that welcomes multiple perspectives and unresolved questions. What are the problems and potentials of self-representation? What about a future “queer museum,” one that is able to (re)imagine the histories of elsewhere and the otherwise in a way that complicates the representation of existences?

Odarodle: an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017 is accompanied by an extensive public program, a publication, and a symposium September 14–16, offering further discursive and experimental elaborations on the ideas, questions, and concepts that inform the project.

Curator: Ashkan Sepahvand

Participating artists: George Awde, Daniel Cremer, Naomi Rincon Gallardo, Vika Kirchenbauer, Sholem Krishtalka, Renate Lorenz and Pauline Boudry, Lucas Odahara, Babyhay Onio, PPKK (Schönfeld and Scoufaras), Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, James Richards and Steve Reinke, Emily Roysdon, Dusty Whistles

Exhibition architecture: Diogo Passarinho Pereira

Graphic design: Michael Oswell

Production management: Tomka Weiß and Alexia/Lautaro Apolinario

Project assistance: Saida-Mahalia Saad

Project mentor: Birgit Bosold

Funded by the International Museum Fellowship Programme of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Presented by Siegessäule—we are queer Berlin.

Since its founding in 1985, the Schwules Museum* has grown into one of the world's largest and most significant institutions for archiving, researching and communicating the history and culture of LGBTIQ communities. Changing exhibitions and events take diverse approaches to lesbian, gay, trans*, bisexual and queer biographies, themes and concepts in history, art and culture.

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