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"Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer" is the first international exhibition to explore the multiple historical, cultural and political intersections of queerness and disability.

Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer
© Joey Solomon, Manhattan, New York

The exhibition questions the fantasy of the ideal body with artworks by 24 international contemporary artists. In a creative juxtaposition of historical objects on the one hand and contemporary drawings, paintings, photographs, performance videos and audio works on the other, curators Birgit Bosold, Kate Brehme, Kenny Fries show how queer/disabled artists appropriate history(s) with pride and empowerment.

Indeed, according to scholar Carrie Sandahl, whose quote serves as the title of the exhibition, sexual minorities and persons with disabilities share a history of injustice: "Both have been pathologised by medicine, demonised by religion, discriminated against in housing, employment and education, stereotyped in representation, victimised by hate groups, and often socially marginalised in their families of origin."

  • At the heart of the exhibition are a number of works created especially for the exhibition. These include Berlin-based deaf performer and choreographer Rita Mazza's new video "Space 1880", which is a reaction to the banning of sign language at the Milan Congress on Deaf Education in 1880; and Riva Lehrer's zoom portrait drawings by queer/disabled artist and activist Steven Solbrig, whose photographs are also part of the exhibition.
  • Elizabeth Sweeney mounts a black triangle in front of the museum's entrance in her three-part installation "The Unrelenting". While the black triangle was used by the Nazis to label, stigmatise and persecute a large and diverse group, Sweeney aims to reclaim space around the Gay Museum.
  • Nazi persecution is also explored in Wilhelm Werner's so-called sterilisation drawings from the Prinzhorn Collection and the letters of Hans Heinrich Festersen, a queer/disabled man executed in Plötzensee prison in 1943.
  • Another section of the exhibition pays tribute to queer/disabled celebrities from the art world Lorenza Böttner, Raimund Hoghe and Audre Lorde.

Queer and disabled people curate the exhibition. The contemporary artists on show largely self-identify as disabled and queer. For as Sandahl notes, "those who profess both identities are perhaps in the best position to illuminate the connections and point out where queerness and 'cripdom' intersect, separate and coincide."
Additional information
Opening hours:
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12-18 h
  • Thursday: 12-20 h
  • Saturday: 14-19 o'clock
  • Sunday:14-18 h
  • Tuesday: day off


Information about your museum visit with a wheelchair can be found here.