INTERSECTIONAL 2.0 at prideART Atelier, Berlin 
Recently I teamed up with two Berlin based artists Lars Deike and Richard Schemmerer in a collective called prideART. As part of this collective we have a gallery and studio space in Friedrichshain here in Berlin. This past weekend, as the Coronavirus restrictions in Berlin have been relaxed, we held our second exhibition titled Intersectional 2.0. This exhibition was held partially online and as a physical exhibition people could come to visit.
I curated the exhibition with assistance from Lars and Richard, and we had guest artists from India, Israel, Belgium, Slovenia, The Netherlands, and Brazil. The exhibition was a great success and there were many hundreds of people who viewed the videos that we made and the interviews with the artists.
The guest artists that participated in the exhibition included several video artists, Irma Joanne (Netherlands) who makes sculptural and performance based work by encasing both her own body and self-made dolls with plastics and her work for our show explored the idea of confinement and being trapped. Her work in this exhibition included both a video of a performance/sculptural work as well as photographs of the object.
From India, Subhash Maskara had a video piece titled ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ which is a work based on the book the title is from, and writings by Charles Darwin from the late 1800’s. The work was made with in-camera effects and projection lighting effects.
The Brazilian artist Lucian Sequiera provided a video comprised of 30,000 still photographs taken at one of Rio de Janeiro’s metro stations, of people leaving the metro via an escalator. The work looks at the world that has currently been left behind, and that we all are keen to get back to.
Slovenian artist Tomaz Jelenc made a series of works titled ‘World Tour Circus’, which are collage and drypoint works, made on the themes of politics, corporate greed, and government and private industry misinformation and spin.
From Belgium, artist Jessie Georges has spent the lock-down creating a work entitled ‘A thousand ways to embrace yourself’ utilising a simple setup of a chair in a room, and exploring different ways to hold on to yourself. Particularly in this time of shutdowns and lock-ins, this work highlights the importance of self-love and acceptance of the situation many of us find ourselves in.
Richard Schemmerer and Sid Simpatico worked together to make a series of 3D mask works, inspired by different cultures around the world that use masks for various reasons. These intricate works really do need to be seen in person to fully appreciate the workmanship that has gone into making them. I found them fascinating to look at, and considering them as a metaphorical idea of the masks that we all wear throughout our lives, that we use to protect ourselves from perceived threats, or to fit in, in a particular situation or group.
Bev Stroganov made a collection of face masks (that can be purchased) in response to the ongoing pandemic from sourced and found materials. They are both functional and decorative at the same time.
Lars Deike’s portrait paintings found new life during the coronavirus shutdown, when Deike over-painted some of his existing portrait paintings and prints with a red mesh covering. Symbolising the idea of the world being obscured by the current situation, as well as evoking feelings of anger and disappointment experienced at the moment.
I entered work from three series of my work to the exhibition, ‘Boys Toys Part II’, a series of images made with toy army figurines and shot to make them look as real as possible. I also included images from my series ‘Loving the Nightlife’, a series of photographic works made from photos and portraits I made in nightclubs in Australia while working for the local LGBTQ scene magazine. All but one or two of the people in the image have been over-painted with a colour based on what they were wearing at the time, removing people from the image and isolating the remaining figure. Finally, four images from my series ‘Before the Fair’ looks at a local fair sitting unused and empty, with no people around to use the rides, games, or attractions.
Rounding out the exhibition, we asked people around the world to send us their thoughts and feelings about the coronavirus shutdowns and lock-ins in their region, and we printed them out and attached them to a rolling cage inside the gallery space. The cage represented the feeling of being trapped and enclosed by our own internalisation of the situation, and how it is compounding to make us feel at the moment.
Images from the show are online at the prideART facebook page, along with video walkthrough and interviews with the guest artists.
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