Duration: 23.06.2023 – 18. September 2023
This exhibition fills a gap in the Schwules Museum’s program. It began in a realm of absence, a lull we lean into to create space for the pleasures, pains and politics of having time. Challenging the notion that productivity and activity are the only measures of value, _Gap invites visitors to embrace the potential of idleness and contemplation. As such, it conjures the aesthetics and politics of restfulness, even as it queries who has the time for sleep and leisure. This _Gap is an intermission: an opportunity to slow down, introspect, and engage with dormancy as a sphere of possibility and an occasion of abundance. The exhibition is developed in friendship, by and for a pace of leisure, exploring the foggy architectures and unsettled repose of shared dreamscapes. It invites visitors into an ephemeral viewing space designed to maximize comfort and relaxation. A curated selection of films and audio recordings engaging with dreams and nightmares, rest and unrest, play on a six-hour loop, allowing visitors the opportunity to relax, daydream, sleep and introspect throughout the length of the museum’s opening hours.
Curated by Utopia/Dystopia (Todd & Zoya)
Film and Audio Program
R: Rest (April Lin 林森, 2019, 13 Minuten)
Here; come, restore, replenish, relax.
Crafting a better world is not an easy adventure. Rest with me.
An experimental documentary exploring the meanings of rest: political, spiritual, tied to labour, associated with guilt. Conceptualised and developed while at Supernormal Residency, the piece draws from the location of the intentional community of Braziers Park, inviting the viewer in for a moment of respite, wherever they may be. The film is Chapter R of April Lin 林森’s long-term project, An A-Z of Imagining A Better World, and serves as a reminder of rest as a structurally-negated necessity, a muscle worth training, and an essential strategy in the process toward liberation for all.
plant portals: breath (Nicky Chue, 2020, 4 Mins) – runs till 23.07.
“plant portals: breath” is an experimental meditation on the unspoken history many queer and trans people of colour carry daily, connecting bumblebees, colonial trauma, alternate universes and the complicated concept of “rest” to ask: Can nature heal us?
Shot entirely on an iPhone, the film is intentional in imagining what is possible, and manifests a reality rooted in mindfulness.
The filmmaker would like to thank community organisers Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson & The Community Witch, without whose healing work this film would not have been possible.
al-Manam [The Dream] (Mohamad Malas, 1987, 45 Mins)
Composed of interviews with Palestinian refugees from refugee camps in Sabra, Shatila, Bourj el-Barajneh, Ain al-Hilweh and Rashidieh in Lebanon. While residing in the camps, Mohamad Malas asks about dreams at night, which always converge on Palestine: a woman recounts her dreams about winning the war; a feda’i resistance fighter dreams of bombardment and martyrdom; and an old man describes a dream about meeting Gulf emirs who ignore him. In 1982, the Sabra and Shatila massacres occurred, taking the lives of several people he interviewed, which halted the project. In 1986, Malas resumed the project, and he edited many hours of footage into this 45 minute documentary film, originally released in 1987.
Honey and Glitter (Marit Östberg, 2019, 16 Mins)
Honey bondage, glitter armor and the feeling of being inside a womb. Honey and Glitter is an exploration of the body and how it can touch the world in a new way.
Ayɛwohomumɔ [You Have Made Yourself Wretched] (Nnenna Onuoha, 2018, 13 Mins)
Looking out her window at one of Europe’s rainiest cities, a self-described pluviophile (lover of rain) reminisces about the tropical storms of her Ghanaian childhood. Drawing upon Akan traditions for naming the months, Ayɛwohomumɔ [You Have Made Yourself Wretched] is a short, poetic portrait of winter and the “winter blues” in Belgium.
Inside Out (Manon Praline, 2022, 10 Mins)
Hold your breath and dive deep into this ritualistic session with Empress Wu and her dirty girl Manon Praline.
After warming up with steady punches and kicks, they plunge into the art of waterboarding as a way to connect. Watch Empress Wu stretch Manon’s hole with her fingers, and pierce her skin with needles. The Empress fills Manon and presses on all these new pleasure holes until the two femmes melt into each other, moaning in their carnal bath.
Hak Untuk Malas [The Right to Do Nothing] (Riar Rizaldi, 2021, 49 Mins)
A sonic fiction in the form of radio play that will take you into a world of non-productivity. It tells a story of A, an Indonesian migrant domestic worker in Hong Kong, who is trapped (or blessed) in an ultraterrestrial world where the notion of work does not exist. In this play we join the flâneuse A in deep-listening to a soundscape that juxtaposes a world-without-work with A’s critical thoughts and contemplations. The work was commissioned by CTM Festival Berlin, Deutschlandfunk Kultur / Klangkunst Germany and ORF Austrian Broadcasting Service.
Nova Dubai (Gustavo Vinagre Alves, 2014, 50 Mins)
Real estate development threatens the habitat of a group of middle class friends in a mid-sized Brazilian city. They want to feel secure yet free, and attempt to come to grips with the city and their lives using sex. They fuck in playgrounds, empty apartments, on building sites and in quarries. A film that attracts and repels – raw, political and poetic.
Dream Recordings (Todd & Zoya. 2020 – present)
Todd & Zoya share pieces from their Dream Archive, which they have been building since the Summer of 2020, when they began to recount and record the dreams they remembered upon waking in voice notes to one another. The archive maps their desires, fears, longings, anxieties and pleasures, while capturing the intimacies and intricacies of queer friendship built through their subconscious dreams and nightmares, everyday utopias and shared getting-through-the-world.
April Lin 林森 is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator investigating image-making and world-building as sites for the construction, sustenance, and dissemination of co-existent yet conflicting truths. Working across moving image, performance, creative computing and installation, they dream & explore & critique & fret & catastrophise & imagine & play — for a collective remembering of forgotten pasts, for a critical examination of normalised presents, and for a visualising of freer futures as, of course, imagined from the periphery. Interweaving strands of auto-biography, documentary, queer ecology, and new media, April Lin 林森’s works are topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece. Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma. (taken from: https://april-lin.work/introductions)
Nicky Chue is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker from Berlin of Jamaican and Indonesian-German descent, whose work connects visual art and poetry. Their practice and narratives aim to centre queer, Black and POC perspectives and explore the complicated concepts of solitude, loneliness, rest, and togetherness in contemporary, historical and futuristic contexts. (taken from: https://www.nickychue.com/about)
Like no other, Mohamad Malas represents the Syrian auteur Cinema. Born in 1945 in the town of Quneitra in the Golan, he grew up under the impression of the many wars and conflicts in he region, something that was to play a central role in his later work. After having worked for three years as a teacher in Damascus while styudying at the Faculty of Philosophy, Malas received a scholarship to study film making at the renowned Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). After his graduation in 1974, he returned to Syria where he gained a name as a critical and socially angaged film maker. He recived wide international acclaim for his feature and documentary films and won a number of awards at film festivals around the world. (taken from: http://www.zakharif.eu/mohamad-malas.html)
Marit Östberg is a filmmaker, producer, intimacy coordinator and writer from Sweden. Since debuting as a film director in the acclaimed feminist porn compilation Dirty Diaries (2009), she’s been creating films in collaboration with her queer communities in Berlin. Together they’ve built visual worlds that consist of cruising, play and desire. Her work has been featured and discussed at various festivals all over the world.
Nnenna Onuoha is a Ghanaian-Nigerian researcher, filmmaker and artist based in Berlin, Germany. Her films and videos centre Afrodiasporic voices to explore monumental silences surrounding the histories and afterlives of colonialism across West Africa, Europe and the US, asking: how do we remember, which pasts do we choose to perform and why? A second strand of her work focuses on archiving Black experience in the present to chronicle how, amidst all this, we practice care and repair for ourselves and each other.
Riar Rizaldi works as an artist and filmmaker. He works predominantly with the medium of moving images and sound, both in the black-box of cinema settings as well spatial presentation as installation. His artistic practice focuses mostly on the relationship between capital and technology, labour and nature, worldviews, genre cinema, and the possibility of theoretical fiction.
Manon Praline is a Berlin based sexworker and 18+ performer/filmmaker. Rather than being assigned to narrow roles, Praline Studio embodies, in films, the visions of our weirdest kinks and fantasies.
Gustavo Vinagre Alves graduated in Literature at USP and in cinema, specializing in scriptwriting, at EICTV (Cuba). He wrote and directed 14 short films and 6 feature films, which have accumulated more than 100 national and international awards. Gustavo was the winner of the Teddy Awards at the 2022 Berlinale Film Festival.
These photos are to be used for press purposes only, with complete credits as shown here.