Cruising CuratorsAbout Us

Cruising is a practice that can take shape in different forms. It could be sailing about without a precise destination or wandering and waiting if someone makes eye contact. It could be driven by sexual stimulation or merely by curiosity and the need for dialogue.
       The coincidental, ephemeral and yet meaningful encounters serve as an extension of knowledge-production, reflection and learning together: Cruising Curators is an open invitation to think, act, recollect, fuse and circulate together with our communities-to-be.
       A space for intertwining intercommunal curatorial practices is initiated by a group of cultural workers who are in search of a continuous tale of interactions, bringing spontaneous hunches, instants and stories from theory, fiction and daily spheres into artistic practices, which aren’t necessarily bound to a physical manifestation of an end product. Adopting cruising and crossing paths within our urban jumble as a research method, the goal is to initiate different forms of contact through the curatorial. In response to the world’s fast-paced and consuming setting, slow methodologies are used, allowing long-term exercises and in-depth discussions to unfold organically.
       The collective started off as a working group of the 11th Berlin Biennale’s Curatorial Workshop How now to gather and is currently constituted by: Bengisu Çağlayan, Raphael Daibert, Luise Leon Elbern, Eirini Fountedaki, Viviane Tabach and Sarnt Utamachote.

Founding Members

Bengisu Çağlayan (she/her) is a curator and cultural worker practising within the realms of curatorial research, artistic collaboration methodologies, (non-)institutional partnerships and fundraising for the arts. Mainly interested in debates on ‘the moving body’ and the experience of choreographic phenomena, Çağlayan combines research and practice that address the isolated and collective psyche of subjugated bodies. She received a research scholarship from the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe in 2023. Her five-part radio show that brings together soundscapes of politics, uprisings and identities aired on Refuge Worldwide, a community radio based in Berlin.      
      Keeping a second base in her native Istanbul, Çağlayan worked for the Istanbul Biennial since 2016 while undertaking additional roles for the Pavilion of Turkey at the International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. She writes regularly for the bimonthly magazine Sanat Dünyamız. Çağlayan holds a BA in Arts and Cultural Management from Istanbul Bilgi University and completed an Erasmus exchange program at NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan.


Raphael Daibert (he/him) is a Brazilian curator, artist, and researcher based in Berlin. He holds a Master's in Art Praxis from the Dutch Art Institute (2018-2020). He is a founding member of (2013-2018), an artist-run cultural platform in the centre of São Paulo. He is part of the project Third Space, an artistic-pedagogical project founded as part of "Gruppendynamik - Der Blaue Reiter und Kollektive der Moderne" at the Lenbachhaus. His practice mainly focuses on collective anti-hegemonic art projects that attempt to combat the existing forces of oppression. Daibert is currently a PhD student and research assistant at Leuphana University Lüneburg.                                                                   


Luise Leon Elbern (she/her) is an architect and urban designer, who studied at Universidade de São Paulo and at Technical University Munich. In addition to her work as an architect and planner, she has been working as research assistant at TUM and was exhibition mediator at the German Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia in 2018. In 2021, Luise was an INITIAL scholarship holder at the Akademie der Künste. She is currently studying Art in Context at UdK and is also a co-founder of the multidisciplinary collective CollColl e.V., which pursues interventions and participatory sites in public space. They have been part of IBA Thüringen, IBA Stuttgart and have been invited to the Eco Solidarity Fair by the Goethe-Institut NYC.     


Eirini Fountedaki (she/her) is a curator and writer based in Berlin and Athens. She co-curated the film- screening series Residing in the Borderlands at SAVVY Contemporary—The Laboratory of Form- Ideas (2019-2020), which intended to create a new cartography of Berlin through diasporic perspectives. She is the co-editor of the publication How does the world breathe now? and has co-curated for exhibitions and festivals such as 15th Forum Expanded, Berlinale and London Short Film Festival (2020). She holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory (Goldsmiths, University of London) and is currently a curatorial fellow of ARTWORKS (Athens). As SAHA Studio's Curatorial Fellow (2022), she researched the intersection of activism and feminism in Istanbul, where she pursued her research on feminist artistic practices in the Mediterranean region.


Viviane Tabach (she/her) is a Brazilian curator and art mediator based in Berlin. Her work centers on educational methods within curatorial and artistic practices. Viviane’s research delves into what makes art institutions effective learning spaces and how the public can be better integrated into this context. She has co-founded and co-directed the art space Casa Aberta in São Paulo, where she organized transdisciplinary projects that integrated music, dance, visual arts, and other forms of expression. She was an art mediator (sobat) for documenta fifteen (2022). She is an MA student in Art in Context at UdK and has a postgraduate degree in Art: Criticism and Curatorship from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo and a Teaching Practice and BA of Visual Arts from the Instituto de Artes da Universidade Estadual Paulista.                                       


Sarnt Utamachote(they/them) is a filmmaker and curator. They are a co-founder of collective un.thai.tled, through which they curated un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin (2019-) as well as Beyond the kitchen: Stories from the Thai Park (2020). Their video installation I Am Not Your Mother was officially exhibited at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and nominated for R.D. Pestonji Award for Best Thai Short Film at Thai Short Film and Video Festival Bangkok 2020. They are the 2020 recipient of Queer Short FIlm Fund from Xposed Queer Film Festival Berlin.                                                                        


Affection & Infection
(Publishing Residency)
Lothringer 13 lokal
Upcoming: September-October 2024

Image (right) Lothringer 13 lokal - Fenster zur Straße © Constanza Meléndez
Cruising Curators is invited to the autumn 2024 publishing residency of Lothringer 13 lokal to curate a public program and a final publication expanding onto their long-term investigation on Affection & Infection.

Affection & Infection focuses on urban experiences and the sense of displacement, aiming to contribute substantively to the public discourse concerning contact, kinship, filth, and intimacy. It tackles societal “norms” and advocates for radical or nuanced shifts in comprehending the social and political implications of cleanliness and dirtiness.

During their temporary basis at Lothringer 13 lokal, Cruising Curators will reconfigure the space into an open-door intimacy research center, hosting informal gatherings and screenings. The program will culminate in a multilingual zine (featuring German, English, Turkish, Thai, and Portuguese) accessible in both print and online formats.
Grounding the Urban Commons
as part of Sommerfest am Haus der Statistik
in collaboration with Co-Making Matters

Friday, 21 July 2023, 17-19h
Street Kitchen Otto, Haus der Statistik

Image (right) © Raquel-Gomez
The workshop Grounding the Urban Commons draws upon Stavros Stavrides' book, "Common Space: The City as Commons (In Common)” (2016), as its foundational framework and contemplates the notion that urban spaces should be considered shared resources and public assets accessible to everyone.
        The programme comprises multiple activities, including a reading session featuring selected excerpts from the book and collective spatial exercises around the vicinity of Haus der Statistik. Participants are encouraged to bring their own references and materials related to the various dimensions of the commons.
        As the workshop nears its conclusion, the intention is to create an ephemeral installation that encapsulates the workshop process, bringing together printed materials from the book, discovered objects from the surrounding area, participants' notes, and other creative possibilities.
        Collaboratively developed by Co-Making Matters and Cruising Curators, this workshop represents a collective endeavour aimed at exploring and engaging with the concept of the commons in space. The working group for this project consists of Viviane Tabach and Eirini Fountedaki.

University of Cologne, Institute of Art and Art Theory

In this two-day workshop with a group of art, intermedia or aesthetic education students, Cruising Curators aim to have a co-learning experience with the participating students in order to collectively reflect on exhibition-making and group-shared methodologies of curatorial practice. The program will employ various media; from collective exercises of introspection and readings to discussions and experiences within and beyond the exhibition space. In the form of a workshop, a space was created for collaborative work towards a curatorial goal, blurring the boundaries between the roles of artist and curator. The working group for this project consists of Bengisu Çağlayan, Raphael Daibert, Luise Leon Elbern and Eirini Fountedaki.

More information
Vernissage: 22.06., 6 p.m.–9 p.m.

University of Cologne, Institute of Art and Art Theory
Gronewaldstr. 2
50931 Cologne
GROUP DISPLAY (EXPOSURE) was conceived as a result of the collaborative process in the workshop. The encounters of our approx. 20 different artistic positions created in this workshop, their consideration and the discussion of overlaps and differences, enabled approaches to collective (artistic) learning and thinking: However, this is not a striving for conformity that pushes the possibilities and limits of the conceivable defined, meant. Instead, it is a meeting of forces and ideas that preserves the individuality of the individual. Diversity and dissonance breathe life into the joint process -- this should also be experienced when visiting the exhibition by Group Display (Exposure).
        The themes GROUP DISPLAY (EXPOSURE) deals with are just as varied as the materials and media used in the works shown: (care) work, psyche, body, (reversal of) views, urban spaces, spatial and synesthetic experiences are thematic fragments that gather, merge, circulate and confront. The exhibition illuminates contrasts and navigates in the spaces between light/ shadow, private/ public, inside/ outside, culture/ nature, and orientation/ disorientation.
(Fiona Peters)

With works by Soma Ahmad, Julia Bauer, Antonia Burggraef, Jonas Endres, Jenny Janac, Eda Kivanc, Maybritt Lohr, Teresa McMahon, Elias Müller, Ronja Munko, Sven Naujok, Fiona Peters, Maja Remmler, Elisa Roßkamp, Emre Sezen, Charlie Steinbrügge, Anouk Theißen, Delfina Weidner, and Nabi Wenke.

More information

Crises & Doubts: Mappings on collective pratice

Image © Lothringer 13 Halle
We are happy to be part of the latest issue of FLORIDA Magazine published by Florida Lothringer 13 collective in collaboration with HTSSNASS:S. This issue is a group edition and focuses on the themes of collective practice, crisis, and doubt.
        The key questions that drove the curatorial committee were: How can a group be (re)productive? What strategies are there? How can we address conflicts? How do we deal with vulnerabilities? How much care work is involved in collective processes? How do we speak to one another? What is recognition? How do we deal with resources and time despite the urgency of the tasks at hand? What does it mean to (un)learn within the group?
        To this end, four collectives were invited to share their perspectives on collective practice, crisis, and doubt. In different forms, the groups Contemporary Nights, Cruising Curators, Çay mal Ehrlich, and BIPoC der HFF have discussed their focuses and perspectives on crises and doubts, which they view as ways of negotiating these issues and perhaps even as possible courses of action. Each contribution functions as a stand-alone publication; and as a loose ensemble, they comprise the magazine as a whole.
        In the process, a whole range of posters and texts have been produced and a release event took place on March 18, 2023 in Munich, Germany. The working group for this project consists of Bengisu Çağlayan, Raphael Daibert, Luise Leon Elbern and Eirini Fountedaki.

The publication is available online here.

Tracing the Ephemera: A reflective reading series curated by Cruising Curators
Guests: Jumoke Adeyanju, Angélica Freitas, Vassilia Kaga, Christopher Weickenmeier

13., 20., 27. October 2021, Wednesday at 19h
31. October 2021, Sunday at 16h

at Hopscotch Reading Room, Berlin

    In English, with additional material in Greek, German, Portuguese and Yorùbá.

    • Visuals by artist Natthapong Samakkaew.
    • Photos by Derin Çetinkaya & Sarnt Utamachote.

    The project is part of the DRAUSSENSTADT initiative and funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Foundation for Cultural Education and Cultural Consulting.

    • “Ephemera, (...) is linked to alternate modes of textuality and narrativity like memory and performance. (...) It is interested in following traces, glimmers, residues, and specks of things. It is important to note that ephemera is a mode of proofing and producing arguments often worked by minoritarian culture and criticism makers.”*

    • — José Esteban Muñoz

    Tracing the Ephemera is a series of reflective reading sessions curated by the collective Cruising Curators that intends to transform the courtyard of Hopscotch Reading Room into a shared space of learning and encounter. Taking place on four evenings throughout October 2021, the interactive gatherings will offer different perspectives on the notion of Ephemera.
            Taking José Esteban Muñoz's essay Ephemera as Evidence as a point of departure, we will discuss individual realities, gender, queerness and transformations in urban space. Dancer/poet/vinylista Jumọke Adeyanju, poet/translator Angélica Freitas, curator/performer Vassilia Kaga and curator Christopher Weickenmeier will each co-host an evening by bringing in their own means, languages and practices. Varied pieces that are retrieved from realms other than text will also be introduced to the conversations.
            By reading together as a small group, we seek to initiate a collective and intimate research process with the participants, the invited thinkers and their respective media. Beyond the expectations of an academic reading, Tracing the Ephemera will function as a locus for exchange, placing the emphasis on the shared physical and performative experience. No preparation is needed for participating in the series.

    *Muñoz, José Esteban, 'Ephemera as Evidence: Introductory Notes to Queer Acts', Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 8:2, 5 — 16 (London, Taylor & Francis, 1996), 10

    Collective UnForgettings (Among the Ruins of the Nation-State) with Vassilia Kaga
    “If utopian moments construct our identity
    then the ephemeral is the root of it.” 

    Vassilia’s take on the Ephemera is linked to collective memory and alternate modes of textuality. Through material traces of queer punk bands, a protest and DIY video documentation, this session will tackle what remains after a performance or an act of solidarity. For this encounter, Vassilia wishes to create “a hybrid experience: a one-day archival exhibition intertwined with personal memories on the radical greek queer identity”.

    Vassilia Kaga is a queer, feminist curator, producer and performer. Their multidimensional work attempts to challenge the normative, especially heteronormative, dominant structures and mentalities incorporated into the network of art relations as well as the wider public sphere.

    Sauti ya àkókò - Sounds of Dimensions with Jumoke Adeyanju

    A performance that draws its materiality from ephemeral sounds of the space. In Jumoke's words:
    “An impromptu, improvised sound collage reflecting on the Yorùbá context of multidimensionality of time and space. Dissecting the liminalities of the Unborn, the Living, and the Ancestral realm through looping in poetry and improvised sound mapping.”

    Jumoke Adeyanju is an interdisciplinary multilingual poet, curator, dancer and emerging sound artist under the alias mokeyanju. Her approach touches on topics like diaspora nostalgia, memory, performativity and how various elements of expressive art forms interrelate and incorporate the potential to (re-)create moments of reviving other or rather lost selves.

    A Gertrude Stein Support Group with Angélica Freitas

    What can shift in the collective perspective(s) when reading out loud together an artist's practice? Angélica proposes:
    “Yes, that's what this is. If you've tried to read her but didn't get her, if you are sad that you cannot read her, but you keep coming back to her, and you want to open your heart to her, you are welcome here. We are going to read poet Judy Grahn's ideas on how to read Gertrude Stein, and then we will read her ourselves. And then I will present my attempts to read Gertrude Stein in my own writing practice.”

    Angélica Freitas is a poet from Brazil. She has published three books of poetry: Rilke Shake, Um útero é do Tamanho de um Punho (A Uterus is the Size of a Fist) – both translated into German by Odile Kennel – and Canções de Atormentar (Tormenting Songs). Her poems have been published in magazines such as Granta, Poetry Foundation and Alba. Rilke Shake was translated into English by Hilary Kaplan and won the Best Translated Book Award in 2016. Freitas came to Berlin with the DAAD Berlinerkünstlerprogramm in July 2020 and has been living here ever since.

    On Queerness and Ruins with Christopher Weickenmeier

    Christopher closes our series exploring the queerness of ruins:
    “Together we will read excerpts from the artist and activist David Wojnarowicz's sort-of-and-more-than-autobiography Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration and will also contemplate a photograph entitled “Pier - Four Doors'' by his partner and artist Peter Hujar. Both artists frequently went cruising in the abandoned warehouses and piers on Manhattan's westside waterfront in the 1970s and their works offer insightful accounts of ruins as sites of queer desire.”

    Christopher Weickenmeier is a curator and research assistant at the Kunstraum Leuphana University Lüneburg. Besides teaching and organizing exhibitions, he is pursuing a PhD tentatively titled How to close a door. Between 2019 and 2022, he was the artistic director at Klosterruine Berlin, where he collaborated with i.a. Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Natalie Czech, Jesse Darling, Simone Fattal, Philipp Gufler, Johanna Hedva, Catalina Insignares, Magdalena Los, Raimundas Malaŝauskas, José Montealegre, Carolina Mendonça, Luzie Meyer, David Reiber Otálora, Tanoa Sasraku, Yoshie Sugito, Pablo Schlumberger, Nora Schultz, Anna M. Szaflarski, Sung Tieu, and Mirjam Thomann. His writing has appeared in Texte zur Kunst and Pfeil Magazin and his latest publication Klosterruinenzines (…a map, a notebook, a calendar, a diary) was co-edited by Maxi Wallenhorst and published by Bom Dia Books.

    CC: Foreword to Leonilson

    on the occasion of the exhibition Leonilson Drawn 1975–1993 at KW Institute for Contemporary Art

    20 May 2021, 7 pm
    In English

    Image (left) Leonilson, Sem título (untitled), 1990. Courtesy: Bank Itaú Collection, São Paulo
    Cruising Curators proposes a collective exercise in the form of a reflective reading session on the occasion of the exhibition Leonilson Drawn 1975–1993 at KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
           This online event focuses on enhancing mutual contact, departing from the current duality of affection-infection and tackling the realities of the back then and the right now. Our first contact is established both via exchange of postcards – using written language as an introductory medium – as well as through collective slow reading. Including a selection of works by Leonilson and excerpts from Samuel R. Delany’s book Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999), this exercise aims to create intimate spaces for shared reflections between the participants. As an open invitation to join Cruising Curators’ collective methodologies, this session aspires to be an investigation on the politics and spaces of proximity (interferences with the body, the urban landscape, the pandemic etc) and an expansion of the contact to “possible others”.

    Further details are available here.