The Imagining Queer Europe Then and Now conference ended with Graham Bell Tornado‘s spectacular live performance, ANTITAINMENT ’70 at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre. The musical cabaret performance combined singing, video projections and sociopolitical commentary focused on comparisons between British performers with their Spanish contemporaries, addressing the different levels of freedom experienced by queers in 1970s UK and post-Franco Spain. Photo by Conny Karlsson Lundgren.
Berlin-based artist Liz Rosenfeld narrated an hour-long performance lecture as the opening event on Day 2 of the Imagining Queer Europe Then and Now conference on March 15, 2019. The audience was led into a darkened theatre space at Traverse Theatre, where they heard Rosenfeld’s voice over speakers, but could not see her. Rosenfeld recounted the many ways cruising functions as a theme and method in her practice, pointing to key moments in her career, and screening three short videos that directly addressed the theme, including the premiere of Between Revolutions (2019). Audience members were invited to ‘cruise’ around the space while she spoke, moving from chair to chair, corner to corner, in the darkroom atmosphere Rosenfeld created.
As part of the opening day of CRUSEV’s Imagining Queer Europe Then and Now conference, Stockholm-based artist Conny Karlsson Lundgren presented his multi-media installation ‘(Dissident) Dance Actions’. The piece is the result of research Karlsson Lundgren undertook in the archives of Denmark’s Bøsseaktivisterna (The Gay Activists), and takes form in textiles, film, and a video in which three dancers reënact gestures from the group’s dance actions in the 1970s. Karlsson Lundgren led the audience of approximately fifty conference attendees through his research processes, and screened the moving image material. The event took place at Edinburgh’s Stills Gallery on March 14, 2019. Photographs by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay and Nat Raha.
CRUSEV UK team member Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s audio project Trees Are Fags launched at LUX Moving Image in London on May 18, 2018. Co-commissioned by CRUSEV and LUX, the thirty-minute audio walk explores the history and aesthetics of gay sex cruising in city parks, making a number of arguments about the links between gay men and trees, unpacking the etymology of the word faggot, proposing the bassoon as the voice of arboreal homosexuality, and asking the listener to tune in to the temporal modes of arboreal life. A shuffling collection of choreographic cues, based on the gestural and affective dimensions of cruising, guide the listener on a search not for another human, but for a tree who might be their lover. The cues are programmed so that each user has a different experience of the piece, and is led on a different path. The launch included a conversation between Nemerofsky and LUX curator Matt Carter.
More about Trees Are Fags at www.nemerofsky.ca/trees