MY DEAR DEER

 

Endre Aalrust (NO), Susanne Winterling (DE), Tobias Zielony (DE), Slava Mogutin (RU/US), Hairwerk (DK)

 

Curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis

 

February 10 - March 15, 2008

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Qbox opens the 2008 exhibition program inviting Sotirios Bahtsetzis to curate an exhibition on identity and difference. In the group exhibition my dear deer the curator presents works by five emerging international artists, whose work negotiates gender identity and desire. The positions of the artists present specific versions of lifestyle and practices of social expression. They also take a critical stance towards fixations, fetishizations and the ideological instrumentalization of “gendered” identity.

 

Queer aesthetic –quite unfamiliar and uncomfortable to some people- is a version of erotic gaze, of the fetishized desire, of the loss and mise-en-scène of identity (of the subject). The exhibition stands for a critique on the settled presentation of the supposedly “correct” sexuality and the stereotypes that exclude any “different” relationships. Nevertheless it is a subtle critique on the essence of “difference” of both nature and sensitivity of gay and lesbian desire.

 

Susanne Winterling (1971) in her self-referential video Play Winterling, where a female persona plays a violin of the Winterling brand, comments, in an elliptic way, on the role of the subject and on the notion of narcissistic transference. In the photographic collages of female figures she creates a narrative of the transitional stages of the accession to womanhood that comments the stereotypes in the way that they are presented from the dominant art forms (i.e. cinema).

 

The photographic work of Tobias Zielony (1973) describes the public life of teenagers who live in the suburbs of urban centers of Bristol, Marseille, Halle or Los Angeles. He depicts life in the border areas of urban reality (garages, supermarkets and empty lots) in socially sanctioned sites of exclusion. The photographs use the aesthetic of the documentary while they artfully manage to attribute to trivial scenes a poetic dimension and almost a fictional character. In the series Big Sexyland the artist portraits young hustlers in cinemas and parks who sell themselves for sex to earn money in order to survive.

In his video Win Win Endre Aalrust (1973) negotiates with subtle irony in the b-movies style the notion of gendered identity and desire. The loss of the lover becomes a biographical commentary on the uncanny laws, which make us face ourselves in the person of the other. Simultaneously in his paintings the artist refers to characteristic objects-fetishes that are points of references not only for gay communities but also for ideologically extreme political groups. In this sense the works of Aalrust criticizes ideologies and rapports.

 

By the age of 21 Siberia-born artist Slava Mogutin (1974) had gained both critical acclaim and official condemnation for his outspoken queer writing. Accused of “open and deliberate contempt for generally accepted moral norms” and “propaganda of brutal violence, psychic pathology, and sexual perversions” he became the target of highly publicized criminal cases and was forced to seek political asylum in the US with the support of Amnesty International and PEN American. Upon his arrival in New York City, Mogutin has become an active member of the downtown art scene. In his first monograph, Lost Boys, young men are depicted in a state between sexual objects and self-acclaimed heroic identities.

 

Hairwerk is designer, cross-dressing performer and member of the radical queer collective Dunst, based in Copenhagen. In context of the exhibition objects are presented that refer to an alternative way of life of the group.