“So you used to be a lesbian, and now you‘re gay?”
Trans* is a generic term for people who define their gender as other than the one assigned to them at birth. Trans* encompasses a broad spectrum of identities and lifestyles, including transsexuals and transidents, as well as some who do not (wish to) allow themselves be positioned as ‚man‘ or ‚woman‘ on a gender scale. There is also a growing awareness that trans* is less about sexuality, but is rather much more about identity.
What do ‚gay‘ and ‚lesbian‘ mean, if the terms ‚man‘ or ‚woman‘ can no longer be clearly assigned? What new language must be created, what words can describe a person who, for example, used to live as a woman, now lives as a man, and calls themselves a lesbian, and what word describes their partner?
The Exhibition Project Trans*_Homo at the Schwules Museum will not give any conclusive answers to these questions. It wants to open a space, through exhibition, a media center, a companion book, and a program of events, in which trans* persons have and can contribute a definition of themselves, in which much can become visible and thinkable. International works of art from trans* perspectives (installations, videos, photography, comics, painting and sculpture), as well as historical and activist documents from diverse contexts, develop intersecting relationships to another. However, this collection makes no claim to be fully complete(d); rather, visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to express their positions: In the interactive part of the exhibition, visitors‘ own terminologies can be invented, developed and further extended.
Trans*_Homo focuses highlights on trans* and its relationships and conflicts with the gay and lesbian scenes, on the fields of law, medicine and/or psychology, respectively. The experts who are given a voice, in this case, are not scholars and scientists with outsider perspectives on trans*; instead, the sciences themselves become objects under scrutiny. The exhibition project examines structural violence, among other aspects, and its historical roots in legislation and in scientific views on sexuality.
Specially featured in this exhibition are four project partnerships, in which artists, scholars, and/or activists develop new works together on a process-oriented basis. From the thematic fields of Language, Law, Medicine/Psychology, and Monsters/Media, critical inquiries and experiments within the issue of Trans*_Homo emerge.
The exhibition is taking place as a trans* project in the Schwules Museum, known as a location for gay history and tradition: Thus the theme of the exhibition is reflected within the project itself. Will this space change, or how will the space be changed, after three months full of trans* art, events, films?
Trans*_Homo is a step toward the opening of spaces, toward exchange, toward dialogue, toward thinking further. It is a process that picks up on discussions in many locations– from lesbian sports associations to the Schwules Museum – that are happening right now. The project attempts to make blank spaces visible, opening up blank spaces itself in the process. The project cannot tell “the” cultural story of trans*. The artworks displayed are mostly from western and White perspectives; therefore, only a narrow selection of the great spectrum of trans* lifestyles and (multiple) affinities is represented. Our desire is to come into conversation, to articulate differences, to talk about possibilities for opening spaces, and to seek out new alliances.
Curated by: Justin Time
Advisory Council: Jens Borcherding, Sabine Ercklentz, Jannik Franzen, Ulrike Klöppel, Adrian de Silva, Else Westermann
Participants: Adrian de Silva, Andreas Riegler, Anja Weber, Anna Heger, Anthony Clair Wagner, Coco Lores, Del LaGrace Volcano, eddie gesso, Else Westermann, Hans Scheirl, image-shift, Ins A Kromminga, J. Jackie Baier, Jakob Lena Knebl, Jakob Schmidt, Jannik Franzen, Jason Elvis Barker, Jens Borcherding, Justin Time, Nathan Gale, Manuel Garcia, Markus Hausleitner, Melanie Humann, Minette Dreier, Persson P. Baumgartinger, Rainer Herrn, Risk Hazekamp, Sabine Ercklentz, Sandra Alland, Sanja Utech, Sara Davidmann, Simon Croft, Susan Stryker, Tom Weller, Toni Schmale, Trystan Cotten, Ulrike Klöppel and others.