Queering the Crip,
Cripping the Queer
An Exhibit on Queer/Disability History, Activism, and Culture
2 September 2022 — 30 January 2023
“Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer” is the first international exhibit exploring the multiple historical, cultural, and political intersections of queerness and disability. The exhibit includes the work of over 20 contemporary international artists whose works speak to the historical themes and objects of the exhibit, and includes a selection of work by artists who created while institutionalized and whose works were collected by the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg, as well as a section on important queer/disabled artist icons Lorenza Böttner, Raimund Hoghe, and Audre Lorde.
The exhibition takes place in cooperation with the performance festival of the same title at Sophiensaele from September 9 – 17, which brings together on stage international works by queer disabled artists for the first time in Germany. But Sophiensaele and the Schwules Museum are not only linked by title and theme: works by Anajara Amarante, Pelenakeke Brown, Quiplash, and Sindri Runudde are represented both in the performance festival and in the exhibition.
Here, on this site, we include highlights chosen from each of the exhibit chapters, to give an idea of what can be experienced at the museum.
Explore this site
Disability studies scholar Carrie Sandahl, who coined the phrase used for the exhibit title, writes: “sexual minorities and people with disabilities . . . share a history of injustice: both have been pathologized by medicine; demonized by religion; discriminated against in housing, employment, and education; stereotyped in representation; victimized by hate groups; and isolated socially, often in their families of origin.” Disability and queer histories are similar, if not always parallel. Sometimes queers and the disabled acquiesce to the fantasy of “the ideal body,” but queer/disabled artists mostly counter it. The exhibition is to a large degree curated by queers and people with disabilities; the contemporary artists exhibited largely self-identify as disabled and queer. Sandahl points out, “Those who claim both identities may be best positioned to illuminate their connections, to pinpoint where queerness and ‘cripdom’ intersect, separate and coincide.”
- Anajara Amarante
- Mel Baggs
- Pelenakeke Brown
- Claire Cunningham
- TJ Cuthand
- Justin LeBlanc
- Riva Lehrer
- Charles Ryan Long
- Ono Ludwig
- Rita Mazza
- Brontez Purnell
- Sindri Runudde
- Steven Solbrig
- Joey Solomon
- Dirk Sorge
- Elizabeth Sweeney
- RA Walden
- Syrus Marcus Ware
- Kah Mendoza Weethee
- Quintan Ana Wikswo
- Lorenza Böttner
- Raimund Hoghe
- Audre Lorde
- Alois Dallmayr
- Karl Genzel
- Carl Günther
- Helen Prager
- “Cora Spassvogel”
- Wilhelm Werner
- Ines De Nil
- Krista Beinstein
- Wolfram Deutschmann
- Rosa Frank
- Hauke Heumann
- Rinaldo Hopf
- Sophia Neises
- Tom Olin
- Barbara Stauss
- Elija Sydney Tourkazi
- Stefan Weise
Curators: Birgit Bosold, Kenny Fries
Curatorship and accessibility concept: Kate Brehme
Research: Sydney Ramirez
I. “The Ideal Body”
“The ideal body”— one of symmetry, deemed beautiful by society—is a fantasy often leading to stigmatization, self-degradation, and despair. As often as this “ideal” might inspire, it also damages: after all, who can measure up to it? While spreading this “ideal,” the Greeks also stigmatized those whose bodies did not conform. The marginalized are not often represented in history, and when they are, not much is known of what their lives were actually like. Instead, we are given metaphors, such as blindness in Greek myths, used to connote “second sight” of “inner knowledge,” Tiresias in the story of Oedipus being but one example. Characters such as blind prophets also proliferate in other cultures. The biwa hōshi, the blind priest singers who roamed ancient Japan, were instrumental in forging modern Japanese language—however, along with other blind persons, they were relegated to a separate sanctioned caste.
Disability studies scholar Lennard J. Davis writes about the Venus de Milo: “She has no arms or hands, although the stump of her upper right arm extends just to her breast. Her left arm has been severed and her face badly scarred, with her nose torn at the tip and her lower lip gouged out. Fortunately, her facial mutilations have been treated and are barely visible, except for minor scarring visible only up close. The big toe of her right foot has been cut off, and her torso is also covered with scars, a particularly large one between her shoulder blades, one that covers her shoulder, and one covering the tip of her breast where her left nipple was torn out. Yet, she is considered one of the most beautiful female figures in the world.” “The ideal body” of Greek sculptures has had an inordinate amount of influence on our conception of beauty, masculinity, and femininity. This “ideal” reappears throughout history and is often used both to inspire and oppress.
The word stigma in Greek letters
The word stigma comes from the Greek, meaning “to mark” or “to brand.” Erving Goffman, in his book Stigma, writes: “The Greeks, who were apparently strong on visual aids, originated the term stigma to refer to bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier. The signs were cut or burnt into the body and advertised the bearer was a slave, a criminal, or a traitor—a blemished person, ritually polluted, to be avoided, especially in public places. Later, in Christian times, two layers of metaphor were added to the term: the first referred to bodily signs of holy grace that took the form of eruptive blossoms on the skin; the second, a medical allusion to this religious allusion, referred to bodily signs of physical disorder. Today the term is widely used in something like the original literal sense, but is applied more to the disgrace itself than to the bodily evidence of it.”
II. Saints and Sinners
In the Middle Ages, impairments were considered either a divine punishment, the devil’s work, or a special distinction. The disabled were dependent on alms, and their lives were often characterized by exclusion and extreme poverty. The institutionalization of the disabled began. London’s Bethlem “asylum” for those deemed “mad” was founded in 1247. Bethlem was commonly known as Bedlam, which became shorthand for chaos and confusion. In some forms of Buddhism, disability is understood as a result of karma from a previous life. Same-sex desire was considered a sin in the Christian sphere of influence. Since the late Middle Ages, homosexual acts were punished by death as “sodomy.” In contrast to later times, this applied to both sexes. There is a lack of historical sources, which makes it impossible to estimate how many people were executed because of their same-sex desires.
Claire Cunningham creates and engages in multi-disciplinary performances. Give Me A Reason to Live was created when Cunningham was one of five European choreographers invited to be part of the project Bosch500, commemorating 500 years since the death of painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516). In this interview from the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival, which includes performance excerpts, Cunningham says she was “shown a sheet of sketches of beggars and cripples … all the beggars are cripples, all the cripples are beggars … as beggars and minstrels were the only way of surviving [for the disabled].” The academic who showed Cunningham the drawings told her the disabled beggars “might symbolize sin.” In the piece Cunningham asks: “what is it like to be pushed down? When is a bent-over posture representative of oppression, and when is it penitent, which would be seen as a good thing in a Christian context?” Ultimately, in this work, Cunningham asks: “What is it like to believe in something?”
III. The Power of Depiction
In Renaissance art, the Greek “ideal” reemerged. Physiognomy was prevalent. Composed of the Greek words for “nature” and “judge,” physiognomy is a belief one could judge a person’s character by their outward appearance. A famous example: Shakespeare’s Richard III, whose disability was not extreme in real life, became a symbol of evil. In art, idealized bodies were celebrated, while disabled people were portrayed as objects of fascination, scientific research, or as figures of fun. Even today, physiognomy continues to reign: for example, villains in movies are often disabled. Disability studies scholar Vicki Lewis writes, “Consider the ease with which good and evil can be portrayed by the addition of a hook, a wooden leg, or an eye patch. Introductory screenwriting manuals even recommend that aspiring writers give their villain a limp or an amputated limb.” But today, a truer counter-narrative is emerging: queer/disabled artists celebrate their bodies and their lives.
Riva Lehrer, artist and writer, focuses on socially challenged bodies, which have long been stigmatized. In 1997, Lehrer began Circle Stories, a series of portraits of disabled artists and academics who explore body issues in their work. She says, “The circle of the wheelchair is the nearly universal symbol of disability. The wheel transforms the ordinary object of the chair into a mark of physical and social difference. Circle Stories charts the existence of a community of Disabled innovators who work to redefine disability in the 21st century.” In Lehrer’s self-portrait 66 Degrees, disability is portrayed as part of nature and unhidden.
The Enlightenment brought to the fore two major ideas. One is the idea of freedom and equality. The other is the belief that reason should be the standard of social and personal action, that scientific rationality could perfect society by solving all its troubles and create an ideal society. Both concepts were paradoxical, since the vast majority of people were excluded from rights and considered incapable of rationally using their own minds. Columnist Jamelle Bouie writes: “At its heart, the movement contained a paradox: Ideas of human freedom and individual rights took root in nations that held other human beings in bondage and were then in the process of exterminating native populations. Colonial domination and expropriation marched hand in hand with the spread of ‘liberty,’ and liberalism arose alongside our modern notions of race and racism.” Today, we are still enmeshed in the Enlightenment paradox as we struggle to perfect society based on less exclusive ideas.
Pelenakeke Brown is an interdisciplinary Samoan/Pākehā artist. Her practice spans visual art, writing, and performance. The prints of grasp + release were created after she received her medical file in 2018. Brown describes these works as “fragments of [her] excavation process.” She says, “Requesting this information about myself felt subversive. I created dance scores from my file to access the text. Break into it. Take ownership of its words. Words which were mostly foreign, cold medical terms with occasional surprising glimpses of the humans involved, the little girl and her (my) beautiful mother and the difficult journey she had.” Interventions to alleviate, or cure, disabilities are common, sometimes necessary and helpful, but sometimes harmful. In grasp + release Brown reclaims both her body and the texts written about her body.
During the 19th century, medical science increasingly gained power. Methods were used to measure humans and define “norms” and “normality.” The concept of “the homosexual” and “the disabled” entered the lexicon. Same-sex desire, gender nonconformity, and disabilities went from being characteristics to identities, leading to both community building and stigmatization. “Scientific” efforts intensified. Eugenics popularized a new set of beliefs and practices for the “improvement” of society. People were classified as carriers of “desirable” or “undesirable,” and supposedly inherited, traits. Reproductive and sexual behavior was to be controlled so that “undesirable” traits were “bred out” by preventing reproduction. At the same time, however, new movements emerged against such repression. People with disabilities, queer people, and feminists fought for equal rights as well as sexual and reproductive self-determination.
“Ugly laws” and Paragraph 175
As early as 1729, a so-called “ugly law,” prohibiting disabled people from public view, existed in England. The first such U.S. law was San Francisco’s in 1867. These laws did not only target the disabled but also beggars. In Berlin, an 1871 law banned peddlers who were “disfigured in a repulsive way.” The last “ugly law” in the U.S. was repealed in 1974. In 1871, the German Criminal Code included Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexual acts between men. An estimated 140,000 men were convicted under the law, which was not fully rescinded until 1994. Anti-sodomy laws were ostensibly enacted to protect younger men from the predation of older men. However, as many cases show, the laws were enforced so as not to “provoke public offense,” the same idea underlying the “ugly laws.”
Steven Solbrig is a white genderfluid artist born in the former GDR. Solbrig is a photographer, moderator, author, speaker, and performer, always with an activist attitude. The era of industrialization during the 19th century left behind a legacy, by which bodily performance (and bodies themselves) are still measured, categorized and standardized today, enforcing the idea of “normalcy.“ In the Unmatched Touch series, Solbrig demonstrates that the queer/disabled body resists such normalization.
On January 30, 1933, the Nazis took power in Germany. Soon after, eugenics became law. Eugenicist Ernst Haeckel’s belief, “politics is applied biology,” was realized. Queers and the disabled were increasingly persecuted. Some queers and numerous disabled people were forcibly sterilized. By 1945, about 400,000 people were sterilized against their will according to decisions made by “hereditary health courts.” Disabled children were registered and sent to “Hospitals for Special Care,” where they were experimented on and killed by injection or starvation. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, the beginning of World War II. The Nazi government commenced the Aktion T4 program, and a few months later, the mass murdering of disabled people in gas chambers began. In 1941, after the official end of Aktion T4, the murders continued by both gas and other means. The disabled, like other groups viewed as weakening the Reich, were deemed “useless eaters” and “unworthy of life.”
Elizabeth Sweeney is a visual artist, arts researcher, and curator. She is also a neurodivergent queer of Acadian settler descent, who grew up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Sweeney says about The Unrelenting, her three-part project that begins with the large black triangle hanging outside the museum: “Many of us must still fight against sanctioned shaming, segregation, and persecution.” The symbol of the black triangle, “a badge used by the Nazis to label, shame, and persecute a large and diverse group of people, intends to mark both a taking up and a taking back of space around the Schwules Museum. It is a call to those who live with these labels, especially those who historically called the neighborhood home, and have been displaced by its gentrification.” The curators envision all of us who pass the triangle to reach the exhibit joining in solidarity with the black triangle community, free of shame and stigma.
Hans Heinrich Festersen Letters
Various photographs, letters, and personal documents belonging to Hans Heinrich Festersen, Schwules Museum Berlin
Listen to excerpts from letters by Hans Heinrich Festersen
Excerpts from letters by Hans Heinrich Festersen, audio recording by Hauke Heumann, 3:45, Schwules Museum Berlin
Hans Heinrich Festersen (1907-1943) was hanged during the "Murder Night of Plötzensee" on the night of September 8, 1943. He lived in the Hoffnungsthaler Anstalten in Lobetal, a Protestant institution for the unemployed and homeless. Like many others, he had been sent there by relatives or committed by authorities because of their disabilities or for violations of morality laws. He was arrested by the police on October 12, 1942 for violating Paragraph 175 and sentenced to death on July 13, 1943 under the Dangerous Habitual Criminals Act. Historian Andreas Pretzel, who has researched the trial documents, concludes that "the death sentences were aimed at the destruction of life allegedly unworthy of life," which means because they were considered disabled. The Schwules Museum collection houses a small bundle of five letters from Festersen in Plötzensee prison to his sister Ruth Maria. The oldest preserved letter is dated December 14, 1942; the last one May 22, 1943. The letters were given to the Schwules Museum by his nephew Peter Festersen in 2009. In an audio collage compiled from the letters, we let Hans Heinrich Festersen have his say.
VII. Our Icons
“The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house,” Audre Lorde says. The lives and work of Lorde, Lorenza Böttner, and Raimund Hoghe prove how true this is. They use their queer/disabled bodies as a site of opposition and transformation. Their art reclaims the agency that has been too long denied to queer and disabled people. They use their experience and ingenuity to reshape what is considered acceptable in society and in art. They challenge the “norm/normalcy,” and smash it. Remember that only a few decades before, their work would have been ostracized as “degenerate” and they themselves would have been persecuted and perhaps even killed. Now, however, they are beloved icons and mentors for generations of queer/disabled artists and activists.
Lorenza Böttner (1959-1994)
Lorenza Böttner, originally named Ernst Lorenz, was born to a German family in Chile. When eight years old, while attempting to rescue a bird nest resting on electrical wires, Böttner was electrocuted and had both arms amputated. The family returned to Germany. Böttner defied expectations of medical diagnosis and society by being accepted into Kassel’s School of Art and Design, where Böttner changed her name to Lorenza. She looked to Greek sculpture, re-imagining herself as the Venus de Milo, questioning ideas of perfection, beauty, and value. Historically, art has been dominated by the hand, which Böttner upends by creating with her foot. Her work is “a requiem for the norm,” as curator Paul B. Preciado says. She died of AIDS in 1994. Böttner’s rediscovery began in 2017 with a small selection of her work at documenta 14. Now, she is an international icon of queer/disabled art with exhibitions curated by Preciado—most recently at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City.
Raimund Hoghe (1949-2021)
In 1989, Raimund Hoghe decided, quoting Pier Paolo Pasolini in the interview Danse Vulnerable, “to throw his body into the fight.” Hoghe says that as a writer for Die Zeit and dramaturg for Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, he could hide his body, which he could not do on stage as a performer in his own theater pieces. In 1994, he created his first solo for himself, Meinwärts (a neologism roughly translatable as “toward myself”), inspired by the life of the Jewish tenor Joseph Schmidt, who fled Germany in 1939. In Meinwärts, as well as in many other performances, Hoghe deals with disability/the body, Nazism, HIV/AIDS, and migration. He also transformed classical works such as La Valse, Bolero, and Swan Lake. The multidisciplinary artist Perel says, “Hoghe’s presence demands more than just spectatorship. He is not asking the audience to be stunned by virtuosity, but to be present with him in the instance of language, movement, or sound unfolding. To Hoghe, bodies tell stories in their fact of presence.”
Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Audre Lorde, interview by Dania und Vera, June 15, 1984, from: Spinnboden (6), Berlin 1984, p. 4–5, courtesy of Spinnboden – Lesbenarchiv und Bibliothek
“Black, lesbian, feminist, warrior, poet, mother” was how Audre Lorde often introduced herself. From 1984 until her death in 1992, she was frequently in Berlin and taught as a visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin. She was a crucial inspiration for the emerging Afro-German women’s movement. Long before the word “intersectionality” became popular, she raised awareness for the differences between forms of oppression, but also for their interconnectedness and the strength that comes with shared struggles. Her books The Cancer Journals (1980) and A Burst of Light (1988) continue to pioneer a feminist perspective on body (“norms”) and illness. They document not only her life with cancer, diagnosed in 1978, but also her fight for self-determination and against pathologization: “The struggle with cancer now informs all my days, but it is only another face of that continuing battle for self-determination and survival that Black women fight daily, often in triumph.”
VIII. Freak Out
Though disability rights groups in the U.S. began forming in the early 20th century, by the 1970s the disabled mobilized as never before, showing that societal barriers, both physical and attitudinal, were the cause of disablement. Their message thus resembles that of Rosa von Praunheim’s iconic film It is Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse But the Society in which He Lives (1971), which kicked off queer liberation in West Germany. Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement, the disability rights movement adopted strategies of civil disobedience with provocative actions, demonstrating disability not as an individual fate or medical problem but a sociopolitical issue. By reclaiming the words “crip,” and even “freak,” as a source of pride, we have also reclaimed power. Much has been achieved to remove societal barriers and improve cultural representation but there is still much to be done for us to be truly equal participants in society. So, keep freaking out!
The Thalidomide Scandal
Between 1957 and 1961, thalidomide was marketed in Germany under the brand name Contergan as a sleeping pill and sedative by the pharmaceutical company Grünenthal. Because it supposedly had hardly any side effects and also helped against nausea, it was especially recommended to pregnant women and available over the counter. After cases of birth “defects” in newborns began to accumulate in the late 1950s, the connection with the drug was proven, and it was withdrawn from the market in 1961. In Germany alone, at least 4,000 so-called “thalidomide-affected” children were born, of whom about 2,800 survived. This was only decades after medications had been used for experiments in the Nazi Reich. The scandal generated major media attention. The visibility of the affected children and the public protest of their parents contributed to the perception of disability as a social issue rather than a tragic individual fate. The struggle of those affected for appropriate compensation has not been concluded to this day.
Deaf Queer Sex
Gunter Trube (1960–2008) was a legendary bartender at Berlin's Kumpelnest 3000, artist, sign performer and poet as well as crucial activist of the Deaf movement. As early as the 1980s, he founded the association Verkehrt Gehörlos (a pun involving facets of queer and deaf / deaf connections / Deaf sex), the first organisation of queer Deaf people in West Germany. In cooperation with the photographer Barbara Stauss and a group of Deaf people, Trube developed an educational brochure for Deaf for the Deutsche AIDS Hilfe (DAH), a truly pioneering achievement. Trube also appeared as a sign performer. In the early 1990s, for example, he performed poems by Berlin women artists as part of the project Hormones of the Male.
Syrus Marcus Ware
Syrus Marcus Ware uses painting, installation, and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. Ware’s multi-channel video Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future) is an “imagined and staged dialogue with a future beyond the current epoch of Black social death and insecurity and this time marked by the ever-present capitalist forces of greed and the persistent script of police and state violence.” Ware’s work provides sustenance as queer/disabled people continue to find agency both in society and in our individual lives.
Plan Your Visit
Please wear a medical mask during your visit. Medical masks are required during guided tours.
2 September 2022 — 30 January 2023
Visit the Visitor Information Page for tickets and other information.
- Monday: Noon-6PM
- Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday: Noon-6PM
- Thursday: Noon-8PM
- Friday: Noon-6PM
- Saturday: 2-7PM
- Sunday: 2-6PM
Public holidays: closed on 1st January, 24th December, 25th December, 31st December and public holidays on Tuesdays.
The wearing of FPP2 masks at the exhibition opening is mandatory. If this is not possible due to access reasons, please inform us before your visit.
- The museum is accessible by public transport (details provided below).
- There are no barrier-free parking spaces in the area.
- There are a few public paid parking spaces in the immediate area.
- Step-free entry for all visitors is possible via the courtyard. Please use the open gate to the left of the main entrance door. The automatic entrance door to the museum is located on the right and there will be staff to assist. If you encounter any problems ring the bell, or ring the contact phone number: 030-69 59 92 62
- The path into the courtyard is paved.
- It has a slight incline of less than 5%.
- The entrance is the first door on the right. This is the café.
- Wheelchairs or walking aids can be parked in a guarded area.
- The exhibition rooms, café and library are accessible at ground level or via ramps and lifts.
- There are two wheelchair-accessible toilets with fold-up grab bars.
- The movement areas of the toilets are 130 x 150 cm in front of the WC.
- The toilet in the foyer has 70 x 90 cm space to the right of the WC.
- The toilet between rooms 3 and 4 has 70 x 90 cm space to the left of the WC.
- The exhibits and information are mainly visible while sitting down.
- The doors and passages in the museum are at least 90 cm wide.
- Access to the library is also via the courtyard.
- In the courtyard, please ring the bell a second time at “Museum Verwaltung”.
- Take the lift to the 1st floor. The lift door is 90 cm wide, the cabin 110 x 140 cm deep. The movement area in front of the lift is 150 x 130 cm.
- There is a cloakroom with lockers.
- Assistance dogs are permitted in all rooms.
- The entrance is not designed to be visually contrasting.
- Toilets are all-gender and single cubicles usable by function.
- The exhibits are generally well lit.
- Information on the exhibits is provided in writing and is mostly visually contrasting.
- Information on exhibits is available as video in German Sign Language.
- For “Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer” we offer guided tours in DGS every month.
- Guided tours in DGS can also be booked for groups.
- It is possible to book guided tours of all exhibitions in German spoken language with DGS interpretation. There are no additional costs.
- Acoustic information is in most cases accessible via texts.
- Information is not available in Braille or prismatic writing but there is an audio-guide and a number of tactile interpretations of artworks.
- A summary of the exhibition is available in simple language.
- There are no guided tours for visually impaired and blind people offered so far.
- On request, we offer DGS interpretation for booked tours.
- On request, we offer Phonak devices for hearing assistance during tours and events.
- The hearing assistance is usable with headphones or via T-coil with the hearing aid.
- We strive to make information on barriers transparent and are working to reduce them further. If you have any tips or questions, please feel free to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 030-69 59 92 62
- U Nollendorfplatz (900 m): U1, U2, U3; U4; U12; Buslinien M19, 106 & 187; with elevators and escalators
- U Kurfürstenstraße (750 m): U1; U3; U3; U12; no elevator and no escalator
- Lützowstraße/Potsdamer Straße (500 m): Bus M48 & M85
- Lützowplatz (500 m): Bus 100, 106, 187 & M29
Backwards and Forwards:
Queering the Crip and Cripping the Queer*
Date: 6 October, 8PM
In 2003, Sandahl conceptualized the verb “to crip” to explore the affinities between queer and progressive disability communities. She extrapolated the concept from the verb “to queer,” which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s to describe representational strategies, used in queer communities to make visible and destabilize heterosexual norms. She drew on the similarities and crucial differences between how crips and queers see and represent their experiences by analyzing the work of solo performance artists who identified as both. Since 2003, the use of “to crip” or “cripping” has taken on a life of its own in academic and activist circles. Sandahl returns the term’s origin story that ground it in the lived experience of queer and disabled people and that point to future directions in activism, the arts, and academia.
Carrie Sandahl is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. She co-directs Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports the development of disability art and culture. Her research and creative activity focus on disability identity in performance and film. Sandahl’s publications include a co-edited an anthology, Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance, which garnered the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy (2006). Her collaboratively created documentary, Code of the Freaks, a critique of disability representations in cinema, premiered in 2020.
* The title for this talk nods to the theater artist and scholar David Ball, who in 1983, wrote the textbook, Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays. Ball’s technique provides a set of tools to understand how a play works by studying its mechanics before creating meaning. Sandahl’s work focuses on how representational techniques of queering and cripping work together to create new meaning about the lived experience of disability and queerness.
Desire Lines and Death Loops
Date: 8 October, 4PM
Multidisciplinary artist Perel will be performing “Desire Lines and Death Loops“ at the “Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer” exhibit at the Schwules Museum Berlin on 8 October at 4pm. Perel will invite visitors into a choreographed encounter with queer/disability history under the Nazi Reich into a ritual honoring queer/disabled icons: artist Lorenza Böttner, performer/choreographer Raimund Hoghe, and writer Audre Lorde, as well as some living icons. Museum admission 9€, reduced 3€.
Perel is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is centered on disability and queerness as they relate to care, consent, sexuality, and personal and historic trauma. Utilizing choreography to examine power exchange between the artist and audience, “Perel is a master at timing, of tension, relief, and intimacy while creating a space of learning and unlearning.” (Victoria DeJaco, Spike Magazine). Perel asks, “How do we move across space and time with respect to our collected histories?” Perel tours and teaches internationally, as a university lecturer and mentor to emerging disabled artists at organizations in New York City and Berlin. They recently received the Disability Futures Fellowship (2020-2022) from United States Artists, and the Ford and Mellon Foundations.
Other Events: visit the Events Page for a full list of exhibit events, tours, and workshops.