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Queer as German Folk | Exhibition

1st to 23rd June 2019
Goethe-Institut Toronto

StacktFoto: Goethe-Institut, Uwe Rau

As part of a constantly changing "cultural lifestyle market", Stackt sees itself as an open space that both facilitates encounters and serves as a source of inspiration for its visitors through a wide variety of presentations.

An essential part of the presentation in Toronto was the close collaboration with The ArQuives, North America's largest gay and lesbian archive, which researched the queer history of Toronto on behalf of the Goethe-Institut, for example the traumatic Bathhouse Raids of 1981 (“our Stonewall,“ as one of the flyers from the time reads) or the internationally influential 1980s Canadian magazine Body Politic.

The exhibition makes sure to integrate and interweave Berlin, Toronto and New York references, showing how queer oppression and emancipation was “same same but different“ across continents.  With reference to the so-called Hanky code, a coded method of (in a correspondingly initiated environment) making known one's own sexual preferences, Canadian content was specially marked with orange handkerchiefs (for "anything and always").

  • Stackt Container © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
  • Jeremy Laing, Mary Messhausen © Goethe-Institut Toronto, Toby Wang
    Jeremy Laing, Mary Messhausen
  • Fun as German Folk © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
    Fun as German Folk
  •   Queer As German Folk © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
  •  Queer As German Folk © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
    Queer As German Folk
  • Jutta Brendemühl, Reagan Swanson © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
    Jutta Brendemühl, Reagan Swanson
  • Queer as German Folk © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
  • Queer as German Folk © Goethe-Institut Toronto/Toby Wang
The interrelationship spilled out of the exhibition space – a container at Toronto’s new creative pop-up community Stackt Market — and into the streets. „We will not hide our love away,“ was the slogan on the moveable windows, a beautifully poetic and empowered quote from a photo of a 1971  Ottawa protest sign. It corresponded with a similarly positive and feisty scene from a Berlin queer rally from 1979 that was installed as a public art work across the Stackt site.

And in the same spirit of spilling out into the street and the world, all exhibition content was given away on the last day.

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