burger Button

Press Section: With Legs Wide Open – A Whore’s Ride Through History

26. March 2024

Vernissage: Tuesday, March 26 2024, 7 PM
Duration: March 27 – November 11, 2024

The whores from the MUSEUM OF SEX WORK have their say!

The history of sex work has so far been written, if at all, mainly by its regulators and oppressors. Academic knowledge is also largely biassed or even completely inaccurate. In public discourse about sex work, there are many opinions but little information and the voices of sex workers themselves scarcely ever appear. So-called protection laws have been developed without involving sex workers.

With Legs Wide Open – A Whore’s Ride Through History” tells the story of sex work from an expert perspective. A sex worker led collective has curated the story of Berlin from a whore’s point of view using archival material, oral history, and artistic interventions. The central idea: “Nothing about us without us.” The exhibition, which defines sex work history as “whorestory“, is a critical examination of institutional devaluation, regulation, and surveillance. It recounts many facets of sex worker culture, from the Middle Ages to contemporary activism and the community’s dreams for the future. Sides of the story become visible that have never been addressed in the historical discourse on “deviant sexuality” and in current heated public discourse about the “Hurenpässe” and “Sexkaufverbote”.

The communities of sex workers and queer people are closely intertwined. Sex work marks a sexuality and work practice outside of the heteronormative family and reproductive labour, so both sex workers and queer people in being outside of that have a special awareness of the social constructs of gender and sexuality. In the Schwules Museum, located in the ‘red light district’ Bülowkiez, a fictitious institution is therefore being created for the duration of the exhibition, a lively, erotic, magical, funny and deeply political “Museum of Sex Work”. This museum has various departments, including an Apothecary, a Cloakroom, a Department of Complaints, a Department of Health, an Office for the Reclamation of Public Space, a Department of Destruction, a Department for Horizontal Labour and a Chapel. What has been compiled in these departments is not a chronological overview of the cultural history of sex work, but a queer, playful, sometimes magical linking of documents and associations – about alternative body knowledge, working conditions, non-normative sexuality, celebration of ancestors, German bureaucracy fetishism, colonialist and National Socialist alienation and mourning. The artistic work “Red Light Utopia Quilt” sketches what a brothel could look like in a better future, in which STI tests are always free, the tea is always hot, and Hurenpasses are no longer necessary.

The Museum of Sex Work at the Schwules Museum creates – with legs wide open – a special and unprecedented place where sex work presents itself as an art of survival and creates a political vision for all.

With Legs Wide Open – A Whore’s Ride Through History (27.3.-31.12.2024)
Opening: Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 7 pm

Curated by a sex-worker-led collective
Participating artists:
Emre Busse, Ernestine Pastorello, Ginger Angelica, Gómez Diego, L’Adios, Rori Dior, Una You, Valentin Rion

Funded by the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt

Schwules Museum
Press and public relations
Jan Künemund, mino Künze
Tel.: +49 176 84995444
Mail: presse@schwulesmuseum.de

Visual: Yves Sanglante


Die Bilder können ausschließlich zur Berichterstattung verwendet werden, unter vollständiger Nennung der Quelle.