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.
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.
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 ongoing radio show that brings together soundscapes of politics, uprisings and identities airs 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. bengisucaglayan.com
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.
“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.
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.