In the time of Corona, intimacy is precarious: as an experience we are in danger of losing, but also one we are nostalgically mourning or re-imagining for a future to come. What does a pandemic and its cultural, social, and technological consequences, such as the protection from others and the disappearance of social encounters and bodily contact, teach us about intimacy? How does Covid-19 change our understanding of intimate moments?
In the context of queer culture and theory, intimacy has had a peculiar position for quite some time. For intimacy is not necessarily the scene in which identities are formed or affirmed. Queer theory has emphasized intimacy as a site where identity is left behind and new forms of the self can emerge, for example in forms of public sex, or what Leo Bersani calls ‘impersonal intimacy’. One might say that intimacy itself is a queer phenomenon.
This lecture series takes queer theory’s conversation about intimacy as a starting point to discuss some of its cultural possibilities, mediated forms, and philosophical trajectories in the context of Corona. It is part of the public programme of the exhibition Intimacy: New Queer Art from Berlin and Beyond at Schwules Museum Berlin.
Organized by Peter Rehberg, Hanna Hamel, and Apostolos Lampropoulos
A cooperation of the Schwules Museum Berlin (SMU), the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL) with its research project ‘Neighborhood in Contemporary Berlin Literature’, and the ICI Berlin. Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Thur, 11 February 2021, 19:00
Susanna Paasonen: Infrastructures of Intimacy and the Deplatforming of Sex
Wed, 24 March 2021, 19:00
Jean-Luc Nancy: Touche-touche
Mon, 26 April 2021,19:00
Tim Dean: How to Have Intimacy in an Epidemic