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Relocation of Schwules Museum

7. March 2013

After six months of construction work on a former printing house, everything is ready to go: The Schwules Museum is moving into its new rooms, in total 1600 square meters spread out over three levels. The ground floor houses four exhibition spaces and a café which can also be used for events. A reference library equipped with research spaces for visitors of all genders finds its home along with office spaces and a workshop in the upper floor. The Museum’s singular archival holdings move into the climate-controlled basement storage areas. In addition to a physical expansion, the move also means a thematic expansion for the museum: The Schwules Museum will intensify its function as a center of information on the diversity of sexual identities and concepts of gender.

The new location is set to open with three exhibitions. The newly retired permanent exhibition will be archived, and an interim exhibition, Transformation, will be shown in its place until the end of 2014. As of this writing, the future permanent exhibition is still in the conception stage. A chronological show, Transformation centers on the big social theme of gender classification and the struggles over its transformation since 1800. Focusing on Germany, the exhibition is an associative journey across the many transformations through which LGBTIQ (LesbianGayBisexualTransIntersexQueer) communities and their protagonists have passed over the course of their histories. The exhibited items are drawn primarily from the collection of Schwules Museum.
In addition, the exhibition Transformation – artistic photographies on the changing of the museum itself will be on view. Schwules Museum has asked Johanna Jaeger – an artist working in New York, Tobias Wille – a Berlin architecture photographer and the Berlin-based art corporation Benten Clay to reflect on the move photographically.

Changing special exhibitions on history and art history are to accompany the interim exhibition and later the planned permanent exhibition. The first of these is Between Tradition and Modern – Early Paintings by Jochen Hass, 1950-1955, also on view from 18 May 2013 until 19 August 2013. Schwules Museum presents Jochen Hass’ (1917-2000) early work for the first time. In a way matched by hardly any other artist of his generation, he made his homosexuality the theme of his art during this period. His wholly distinct approach puts him on par with artists like Marcus Behmer, Hellmut Kolle, Herbert List and Herbert Tobias, but also David Hockney and Robert Mapplethorpe.

The move and the expansion of Schwules Museum is realized through the kind support of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Berlin’s cultural affairs department in the context of Kulturinvestitionsprogramms (KIP) and Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (German National Lottery Foundation).