burger Button

»The Five Ages« Performance by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay

21. July 2017 19:00

A floral archaeology that explores the symbolic relationships between human history and plant life, specifically within the context of a queer aesthetics. The work is primarily inspired by postcard images from the “Weissbierstube” in the former Berlin Museum – venue for the 1984 “Eldorado” exhibition. The Weissbierstube was legendary for its Sunday brunch buffet and a meeting point for local West Berlin gay and lesbian activists, artists, and academics. Postcards depict a buffet spread with lavish flower bouquets as decoration. The artist has drawn on these images – and the flowers they show – to develop the piece.

He selects five flowers to symbolize five distinct moments in the history of El Dorado, referencing both its incarnation as nightclub and exhibition, as well as its general application as a legendary, faraway site of utopian longing. The flowers stand in a ceramic vase designed specially for them by the artist. The vase provides each flower with its own distinct opening, while arranging the flowers to interact contrapuntally, creating a bouquet of colliding and overlapping temporalities. A guided tour accompanies the artwork, in which the artist recounts the history of the five ages while preparing and arranging the flowers in the vase.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Montreal, 1973) is an artist and diarist. His artistic gestures in sound, video and text contemplate the history of song and the gender of voices, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken or screamed. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors and sirens. Nemerofsky’s work has been exhibited extensively across Canada and throughout Europe. His work is in the permanent collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Polin Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Thielska Galleriet Stockholm and the National Gallery of Canada. He is a PhD Candidate at the Edinburgh College of Art.

The event will be in English and German language.


This event is part of the public programme in association with the exhibition »Odarodle – An imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017«, running from July 21st till October 16th at Schwules Museum*.

»Odarodle« is funded by the International Museum Fellowship Programme of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Presented by Siegessäule – we are queer Berlin.

Photo Credits: Weissbierstube Berlin Museum, Lindenstraße 14