INSTITUTE FOR SEXOLOGY

Turn on for illegal bodies, Acting out past lives of queer
A project by Julie Carvalho in collaboration with Roland Lauth, Sebastien Stolarczyk and the Magnus Hirschfeld Gesellschaft e.V. Berlin

6th November 2016
11–17 h Workshop in English

Please register until November 4th
For the preparation of the workshop the participants will receive text material after their registration.

19 h Showing and Dancing
With Petit Homme, a video work by Sebastien Stolarczyk & Sexual Catastrophes, a dance piece by Roland Lauth in a scenography by Julie Carvalho

Photo: Emma Haugh

Considering our current bodies and gestures as legitimate archives, the project Turn on for illegal bodies, Acting out past lives of queer within Undisciplinary Learning: Knowledges approaches the history of the Institute for Sexology founded by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1919 in Berlin.

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was a German physician working in Berlin, a pioneer sex researcher and empiricist, gay, socialist, a Jew and the founder of the world's first gay rights movement (called the Scientific Humanitarian Committee and founded in 1897). The main goal of this movement was to fight for the decriminalization of homosexuality, demanding the abolition of the paragraph 175, and for the emancipation of individuals with all kind of gender identities and sexualities from state persecution and social repression. In the space of his Institute for Sexology in Tiergarten – which existed from 1919 to 1933 and included a clinic, a research center, a sexology museum, a lecture and cinema hall, and a shelter for the socialization of queer individuals – an extremely open-minded thinking was practiced. Thus the Institute was a place that welcomed and connected the queer scenes, people from different backgrounds and a multiplicity of intellectual, political, scientific and artistic practices in the space-time of 1920's-1930's Berlin. The history of this institute and its community has been jeopardized through decades of European fascisms and conservatisms and is still in the process of being recovered by activists and researchers.

When this history has been subjected to detention and erasure, how should we consider the concept of historical authority that transpires from patriarchal institutional legitimacy? Since this legacy is all about what bodies do – following official laws or enacting illegalized habits – the project Turn on for illegal bodies consults our current bodies and gestures as legitimate archives of the present and of the past within it. Dealing with historiography as a community stake and with the reconstruction of one's own history as a practice of self-care, Julie Carvalho, with the help of the Magnus Hirschfeld Gesellschaft, has worked on gathering information, pictures, testimonies and life stories of queer individuals seeking freedom in the Berlin of the 1920's. She has processed these historical researches into a body-focused scenography including drawings, fabrics, and accessories. In this setting, the performative one-day workshop will take place where we can share knowledge with each other, create together archives of our present and affectionately question our own intimate relationship to historical legitimacy.

Following the workshop, the public Showing and Dancing will integrate the screening of Petit Homme into the transformed scenery, »a short film by Seba Stolarczyk that deals with the ambivalent fragility of queer intimacy through the routine of a boy and his friends in today’s Berlin. And then we can finally let it all out by dancing on Roland Lauth's« Sexual Catastrophes, a live music piece that pays homage to the defiance of queer spaces and queer sounds by mixing the rhythms of queer hip hop, the “ha” from the current vogue house, or the metallic punk synth riffs of electro clash with samples of anti-gay laws turned into danceable beats.