precarious sex. precarious work exhibition : 19.1. — 4.3.2007
opening : thursday 18.1. 19h. queer guided tour 19.30-20h
curated by : renate lorenz in cooperation with : pauline boudry, wibke straube
PLACE : kuenstlerhaus bethanien berlin. studio 1. mariannenplatz 2. 10997 berlin
hannah cullwick und/ and :
laura aguilar, oreet ashery, pauline boudry, alexandra croitoru, ines doujak, ghazel, kai kaljo, deborah kelly/ tina fiveash, stefan hayn, klub zwei (simone bader, jo schmeiser), ins a. kromminga, zoe leonard, marth, karin michalski/ sabina baumann, tracey moffat, christian philipp müller, adrian piper, carole roussopoulos/ delphine seyrig, runa islam, del lagrace volcano, gillian wearing.
19.1. 18h queer guided tour mit gästen/ with guests 19.1. 19h vortrag/opening lecture : josé esteban muñoz, judith halberstam (angefragt)
20./21.1. 19h : film program >normal work<, curated by brigitta kuster, karin michalski
NORMAL LOVE precarious sex. precarious work
The point of departure for the exhibition are the photographs and texts of the >maid of all work<, Hannah Cullwick, who lived in Victorian London. They are archived at Trinity College, Cambridge, and will be shown for the first time outside England. Hannah Cullwick not only cleaned from early in the morning until late at night in various households, she also produced a series of remarkable staged photographs, numerous diaries, and letters. She was very proud of her >masculinity<, of her strength, her muscles, and her big, dirty hands. Her portraits and self-portraits, which show her not only as a domestic servant, but also in >class drag< or >ethnic drag<, were part of a sado-masochistic relationship that Hannah Cullwick was involved in with Arthur Munby, a bourgeois man. Interestingly, it was elements of her hard work in the household that provided the material for their SM scenes. Building on this connection between sex and labor, >normal love< looks at the role of sexuality in how power functions within the field of work. The exhibition asks whether the crossing of social hierarchies of class, gender, and race that Hannah Cullwick staged and that she so obviously desired have today become generalized into a paradoxical requirement.
How are we interpellated or addressed in the field of work ?
What role does sexuality play in the "voluntary" taking on of long workdays or hierarchically organized "places" ?
What happens if these places are mobilized and crossed ?
How can they be reworked or "queered" ? The contributions by the participating artists do not refer back to power, but rather show an "engagement with power" (Muñoz).
In conjunction with the exhibition, a catalog will appear on b_books with texts by José Esteban Muñoz and Renate Lorenz (February 2007). funding provided by hauptstadtkulturfonds supported by künstlerhaus bethanien gmbh.